“It’s no sin to be gay.” See how easy that was, Andrew Marin?

“It’s no sin to be gay.” See how easy that was, Andrew Marin? June 10, 2012

So let’s be clear about this: Andrew Marin makes his living dancing around in the middle ground between pretending to say, and actually saying, that it’s perfectly okay to be gay. Like others of his ilk who have discovered the benefits to be had by essentially exploiting the gay issue (and even if your audience doesn’t yet, you “progressive” Christian leaders know who you are), Marin trades in the fuzzy, non-committal language that ultimately serves no purpose beyond allowing Christians to feel better about maintaining their conviction that homosexuality is a sin.

By way of demonstrating that—which I only do because I know some of you out there still think Marin truly supports gay people, and I hate to see you wasting your affections—I offer this recent Twitter exchange between Andrew and me:

Andrew Marin: [Part 1] You don’t know all the facts, neither does Dan. Pls come to Boystown & talk to me & all the LGBT folks & activists that [Part 2] love & support us. Open invite always stands. Would love to hang.

John Shore: true! I don’t know all the facts. I did read lots of your work on your site; I never saw you say gay isn’t a sin. 🙁

[Here Andrew greatly surprised me by writing that he has never said that being gay isn’t a sin. I was less surprised when he quickly deleted that Tweet, and in its place wrote:]

Andrew Marin: Let’s hv a convo then. U seem like a guy wanting to communicate the truth & not hear-say. Shame u didn’t reach out beforehand. [Part 2] Just wish convos happen. Problematic when respectable folks don’t take 1 extra step b4 they make public statements.

John Shore: I DID take the extra step: I read the articles by you on your site. That took real time.

Andrew Marin: Then u noticed I focus on cultural engagement regardless of belief system; not focusing on belief alignment. So we going 2 talk?

John Shore: Tell me homosexuality isn’t a sin, and we’ve got ourselves a chat. Don’t, and we don’t–cuz then I already know who u r.

Andrew Marin: Tell me when 2 grown men must hv a prerequisite agreement before they can hv a simple convo? U nervous to talk instead of type?

John Shore: Why would I be “nervous” about talking to you? You play the middle for your own gain. Hardly intimidating.

Andrew Marin: All I want to do is have a real life conversation. Too much scapegoating online w/140 characters; not sufficient.

John Shore: “It’s no sin to be gay.” That was 21 characters. See how easy?

And that’s when Andrew decided to end the conversation.

I don’t expect to hear from him again. But I’m confident that if I do, he won’t say anything beyond how important it is to continue the dialogue, to keep building bridges, to “live in the tension,” to reach out in love, fuzzy, fuzzy, blah, blah, tastes great, less filling. Because selling that kind of sugar-powdered waffle is how Andrew makes his money.

Andrew: If you’d like to say about gay people what you feel you can’t in 140 characters, I offer you this space to do so. I have a lot of readers who don’t believe that same-sex relationships are inherently sinful. I know that they (and I!) would love to hear that you agree with them on that. I sincerely hope that I am wrong in my understanding that you would no sooner unambiguously state that than you would film yourself pushing a gay teenager off a cliff.

If you’d like to learn more about sneaky and squirmy Andrew Marin, read this. Or this. Or watch this video of him, in which he says this:

My beliefs line up with the evangelical belief system. Scot McKnight and Dan Kimball, who are both widely recognized as leaders of the emergent movement today, are kind of breaking from that whole movement, because they’re saying, ‘Listen, we have a high view of scripture [meaning a literal, inerrant view], we believe in a real traditional interpretation of everything … and that’s where I align myself with, with them two. … Evangelical Christians, look into my eyes, and just know that I believe the same thing you believe … I just live it out in a counter-cultural way … but this doen’t mean I’m flying off to a different theological belief system.

How anyone still takes this guy seriously is beyond me.

See also: Christians and LGBT Equality: There is No Middle Ground.

"You lost my interest as soon as you mentioned you were vegetarian (virtue signalling to ..."

A Christian grandmother nails the transgender ..."
"Sweden has a tradition of punishing those who speak out or publish papers on the ..."

A Christian grandmother nails the transgender ..."
"SOund like you may not be very familiar with the kinds of things that take ..."

A Christian grandmother nails the transgender ..."
"That is such an immature perspective. True Christians deal with all kinds of people. Religous ..."

A Christian grandmother nails the transgender ..."

Browse Our Archives

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jeff

    I’ll make some tea while we wait.

  • I’m still waiting for conservative leaders who are demonizing the gays as the worst of sins to explain why Leviticus 11:12 doesn’t apply?

  • Thank you for calling a spade a spade.

  • Carol VanderNat

    Hey! Tony Campolo could do the same thing!!

  • Jeff Blackshear via Facebook

    I always called a spade a shovel, myself.

  • Not while the dog-and-pony show of him and his wife is still generating the income it is.

  • Jon

    At best he’s unaware/ignorant (clouded by narcissism and mis-guided “passion”), at worst, he’s a fraud. What he does seem to be good at is raising money (and staying on message) for his namesake foundation.

    I’ve heard audio of him talking to evangelical adults, how he can claim to be an ally is beyond me. If you haven’t heard it, I’ll try to find it and post the url.

  • DR

    “Context” is always very important to people like this but Christians who are trying to navigate the deep and shallow ends by using a lot of earnest Christian-ese. I’d like to translate:

    “I want to make sure you understand that I would be *devastated* if I discovered that a belief I had actually *damaged* someone who was gay or lesbian! It’s not my intent to hurt *anybody*. All I’m doing is trying to follow the Word of God. What those of you who find fault with me don’t seem to understand is that I am a *victim* of the interpretation I am choosing to both accept and apply to the GLBT community. It’s just what (I am choosing to believe) the Word of God says.

    So you’re not mad at *me* (even though I forgive you for hurting my feelings). You’re mad at GOD. I have absolutely nothing to do with anyone being hurt and the fact that you won’t allow me to have a direct dialogue with you where I can say all of this above using a million different distancing words that sound loving is in fact, a sign that you are afraid of the dialogue. So me and all of my gay friends (the 1-2 I can say that I know something personal about though yikes, I don’t get too close).

    I’ll pray for you as I’m over here in my wealthy, I can marry and enjoy the spiritual, social and economic benefits of being married status corner being so misunderstood.”

  • Matt Algren via Facebook

    I’m glad I’ll now have a resource to point people to when they start talking about Marin. LGBT people are so thirsty for non-condemnation from Christians that we’re often willing to overlook the most important things they often don’t say.

  • Leslie Marbach

    John, I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one just a bit. I think Andrew Marin does a great job bridging the gap between Christians like us (gay’s perfectly okay) and those Christians who have always believed it’s a sin but also think it’s a sin to treat people badly. You and I both know that even upholding the belief that it’s a sin to be gay (or act gay or whatever they say) hurts people in big ways. We see that all around us. There’s evidence of that belief system catapulting others within the group to the full-fledged bullying and other sick crazy stuff. But Andrew’s right in saying that conversations have to happen. No one changes their opinion if we come at them saying they have to jump the whole way and affirm that we’re right and they’re wrong.

    Right now, as you know, I’m having weekly conversations with my adopted mom who still isn’t convinced that acting on being gay isn’t a sin. She admits she’s not sure. She thinks the Bible says it’s a sin. But she also recognizes the time, study, and prayer that went into my concluding it’s not a sin. She never says I’m not a Christian or going to hell. She trusts my knowledge and wisdom. The conversations are real. They’re full of love and respect. Had I held my ground and said I wouldn’t discuss it with her unless she agreed with me, then all of this would be lost. Our relationship would be lost. I don’t think that’s what we need.

    So, personally, I’d urge you to have that full conversation with Andrew. Maybe what makes his ministry work is that he doesn’t focus on whether it’s a sin or not. Maybe people need to come to their beliefs a little on their own with just someone like him holding their hand. He has done good work letting LGBT people in Chicago know that they’re not excluded from God’s love. That in itself would be reason enough for me to talk to him.

  • Actually, it’s a sin to be human. That’s the point of the Gospel. We are all sinful. It’s also the point of the Gospel that what matters is our own sin, not other people’s. Judge not. It’s too bad so few Christians get it.

  • Interesting. Most of my gay friends have friended him on FB. I never did. He seemed a bit uninteresting, or something. I haven’t read the book, but it’s in the cue on my kindle. Perhaps I’ll bump it to the top of the list.

    Two things. First, as soon as you say that being (a fully functioning sexually active) gay person is not a sin, the whole conversation gets really really complicated. It derails any conversation on just walking in love.

    Second, as soon as you talk about sin, you have really not understood grace, bc sin is law based. Again, the conversation gets derailed and becomes about theology.

    Oh, and third (!) by NOT coming out and saying that being gay is not a sin, you have participated in subtle discrimination. The act of sweeping under the rug exhibits a lack of total acceptance. Even if done in ignorance (which I doubt – he’s a knowledgeable man), or in a desire to be diplomatic and keep the door to conversation open, it is disingenuous at the least.

  • Better make a vat of it… think it’s going to be a long wait.

  • Michael


    I’d like to encourage you to go ahead and hold the conversation with Andrew. I am a conservative, Evangelical Christian who is gay and 100% supports marriage equality and gay rights. But, I didn’t always. For over 30 years I wrestled and struggled with my attractions for men with my conservative Christian upbringing. I was involved in ex-gay ministries, read tons of books promoted by Focus on the Family and Exodus and believed that it was impossible for a Christian who accepted being gay to actually be happy. A couple of years ago, I read Andrew Marin’s book “Love is an Orientation” and it shattered all of my pre-conceived notions about gay Christians. As a result, I began a journey of self-evaluation that lead me to fially at the age of 46 accept the fact that I am gay (not someone who is actually straight but “struggles” with same sex attractions like I had been taught) and have always been gay. I am now coming out to my family and friends as gay. I credit Andrew and his book as the catalyst for the journey that I am now on.

    I’ve met Andrew and have heard him speak about why he does what he does and the approach he takes. Just like I’ve heard you speak and read what you write (I’ve read almost all of your books and read your blog every day) why you do what you do and the approach you take. Believe it or not, I don’t agree 100% with everything both of you say, but I support you both and I am thankful for the impact that both of you have had in my life and the difference you are making in the Church finally accepting LGBTQ people and fellow believers.

    Much love,


  • Lana

    If he comes out and says it, he will lose the other side. He will automatically become irrelevant to the opposing side. I don’t know what he believes. I would hope that he can see the truth. If he does, it is wrong for him to then keep saying, or implying, that homosexuality is wrong, or against the Word of God. I haven’t been listening to him a lot, and haven’t read all his stuff, as you have, so I do not know, for myself, what all he says. Could it be that he is truly in the middle – aware that what Scripture appears to say doesn’t match up with the reality of his gay and lesbian friends, but still hanging on to what he has always thought was true? It took me a while to be able to see, and know, for myself, that the scriptures I had read and always thought/assumed were against homosexual relationships were actually no such thing. And I myself am gay – though only recently out even to myself. So, anyway, again, I don’t know what he might know inside and is not sharing with the public, but I do know that he will lose the other side if he admits publicly that the Word of God mistranslated an/or misinterpreted is the only version that is against loving homosexual relationships.

  • Barbara Rice

    I’ll make cookies to go with. You can stay for lunch, too.

  • By the way, I agree with some of the comments which commends Andrew Marin on his reaching out to LGBT. It’s not about his own personal beliefs; it’s about his willingness to say it was wrong for Christians to condemn others. That took courage and real moral character. People can agree to disagree, without condemning one another. You may be right that his agenda is beyond a facade of LGBT friendly brand of Christianity, but the proof is not what they say; it’s in what they do. Do they support marriage equality? Do they support anti-discrimination laws? Do they support making reparative therapy history? If they do, then what they believe is their own personal business between them and their God.

  • People who want off-the-record conversations are almost always saying contradictory things to opposing audiences. Exodus International has played that game for years.

  • Allie

    Boy. He’s super-aggressive, isn’t he?

  • Brena Easterday via Facebook

    Actually, it is not a sin to be human and that is not the point of the gospels. It is in all potential to have the potential to sin. Where ever there is the potential for success, truth, and life there is the potential for failure (missing the mark), lies, and death. It was always about choosing the path and the grace and wisdom granted for those on the path to the Father. Adam and Eve was a parable about how we came to be prone to walk the path of failing, lies, and destruction. We do not have to teach most toddlers to be selfish. It seems we are prone to missing the mark. There never was hell for missing the mark. Hell was only ever for deliberate offensive destruction and lies.
    Don’t form a theology based on King Jame’s English translation of mistakes and offenses being the same “sin” word. That is not what is shown in the OT or the NT if we look well.

    Left to our own we will miss the mark and without the knowledge of Grace we always let our failings harden our hearts and make us willing to become offensive to success, truth, and life. It is our nature to explore, try, and fail. That is not a sin but a necessary part of growing. It is our culture to ignore the grace that covers it and hate. That is what salvation saves us from: the need to be perfect or the prison of being judged by mistakes. The good news is grace and forgiveness. That is the gospel.

  • Larry Petry via Facebook

    Elizabeth…. Acts 10 would be a short answer to your question. Not to open a can of worms (or fish, in this case).

  • DR

    This comment reminds me of something that Pope John Paul II said a long time ago. That the Catholic and Protestant churches are the right and left lung of the living body of Christ. I loved the acknowledgement of the role both play and am encouraged by your comment, that this man and John can both be serving different roles in the repair of the damage that the GLBT community.

    I’m so glad that you’ve found peace. I tend to align with John, that the interpretation itself that being gay is sinful is so blatantly wrong that it’s difficult for me to entertain any point of view that doesn’t start in that foundational place. But God clearly works in ways I don’t often understand.

  • DR

    It’s not a sin to be “human”. Human beings – designed in God’s Image – are flawed *because* of sin. There is a massive difference between the two.

  • Allie

    But I have seen people change their opinions when asked to jump the whole way. It does happen.

    And I think it’s dangerous to offer people a means to feel good about themselves while still practicing discrimination. Imagine talking to a racist who refused to come right out and say that black people are not inferior. He wants to hold the position that they ARE inferior, but it’s still wrong to discriminate against them. They should be treated with the kindness suited to inferiors… something like the protection offered to one’s own children, whom one loves. Not, of course, allowed to use the same bathroom or go to the same schools, but loved and cared for as being made in the image of God.

    Bleah, right? I mean, that sounds pretty sick today. But it’s exactly what used to pass for liberal in the South. I’ve heard older relatives of mine say pretty much exactly those words and pat themselves on the back for being so forward-thinking.

  • Soulmentor

    *****I began a journey of self-evaluation that lead me to fially at the age of 46 accept the fact that I am gay…******

    You know, of course, that the anti-gay “christians” will spin that as proof that you CHOSE to be gay. Never mind. There are some mindsets you cannot change. Live and write and speak your truth to and for those who are uncertain, still struggling and need to know that they are not CHOOSING TO BE GAY, but they are choosing to be who they are and they can do that and still be a good Christian.

    We are winning this “culture war”. Even Dobson admitted it a few years ago. It’s over for them and they know it. All their ranting and spinning is the dying gasp of their ignorant prejudice that has lost its rationale.

  • Deb Schofield via Facebook

    and Thank God for both grace and others not being the granted the right to judge any of us! It’s NOT yours to judge! Move on with compassion!! That is our only obligation.

  • Larry Petry via Facebook

    Brena…. very good words!

  • deb schofield

    Precisely, John! He is playing the game! Anyone who believes something is also willing to have it documented and published. You are spot on! he’s a hater!

  • Andrew Marin is a business man and a coward. He is taking money to do more of the usual, just wrapped in Exodus like fuzzy words in order to accept funds from the easily duped on both sides. A fraud. A charlatan. How could people NOT see through this man from the get go? He tailors his words and speeches to the audience he is taking money from. It is a great gig and I am sure he will play it for as long as the cash flows.


  • I’m kind of with Leslie on this one. It took me about a year to work through the idea that homosexuality was not a sin and if someone had come to me with the same zeal that they hate from the religious right saying “BELIEVE IT’S NOT A SIN YOU IDIOT! SAY IT!” (not that that’s what John did), I would’ve retreated. Everyone’s unique. I’m not defending Marin–just saying he’s probably scared like I was. Personally, I just kept my thoughts to myself, read John’s blog, continued to grow my relationships with my LGBT friends and continued to talk with God about it.

  • Like.

  • Kerry


    Thank you for sharing your journey and perspective.

    There are a number of well thought out, personal comments on here and I am learning a lot.

    I am sorry for all the inner turmoil you have been through.

    I hope you can get to a place of full inner peace – you are who you are and

    you are FINE – MORE than FINE. If your friends and family give you a hard time, send them here. Let “John and friends” talk to them.

  • Kerry

    Soulmentor, he also says “have ALWAYS (caps mine) been gay” so I would not worry about spin. I recall you have been though a lot of pain so I understand where you are coming from though.

  • Kerry


    First I’m excited to know you are on Twitter – how did I miss that? (new follower now)

    Second, I think you should debate him. How can minds be changed if there is no dialog?

    Even if he did not change his mind immediately, think of how many potential “followers” (to use a Twitter term) you could potentially get to “see the light” or at least start having enough doubt to do some more research on their own.

    You may recall I wrote about you and Dan Savage hosting the “mother of all debates” before on another thread. Let’s do it!

  • Ric Booth! Love.

  • Adele Sakler via Facebook

    For Marin to NOT acknowledge that us queers are not in sin denies a HUGE part of my humanity. i don’t have patience for people like Marin anymore.

  • I’d go with the “at best.” His foundation is named after himself, after all… he does seem genuine…ly misguided

  • John,

    In your estimation, is every Christian regardless of context who does not come full out as a GLBTQ affirming ally as deluded or fraudulent as Andrew? Rob Bell, for example. Is there any credence whatsoever in keep channels of communication open by not being explicit in this moment in history in the interest of being a bit more subversive in order to reach people to whom would immediately tune out of an explicit approach? I assume that Rob, and others (including Shane Hipps) are operating under this pretense, what may be considered a pragmatic rather than idealistic (which isn’t pejorative) approach to ending bigotry (not to endorse the former, I am with you more or less in the latter camp).

  • Chelse Lang via Facebook

    Get him, John! You can’t affirm LGBT individuals if you mark them as committing a habitual sin. That’s what the fundies do; “hate the sin, love the sinner”, and it makes me sick.

  • Melody

    Are you a calvinist? Only a calvinist would say it’s a sin to be human. God made us human. So using your logic, you’re calling God a sinner by making us in the first place. Total depravity is the most flawed, guilt-tripping theology I’ve ever heard.

  • David S

    Bo – I understand your thought, but I don’t think it’s a valid approach? As a Christian who is gay, the message that “I’m going to pretend the core issue doesn’t exist for the sake of harmony” is bad enough – yet another debasing position (i.e., RHE). But to say “let’s not talk about the core issue so that we can have productive dialog” is even worse. It is cowardly and creates empty dialog. It does nothing to affirm the personhood of gay people. The only thing that Marin’s approach will do is encourage people to smile as they continue to victimize LGBT people in the church.

  • I’m with you, Leslie. I feel like SO many issues are framed as false dichotomies, with people polarized on one side or another. Someone who can create a stepping stone from one end of the spectrum to the other has the ability to play a positive role, in my opinion, even if I don’t agree with them. This is especially true with an issue such as LGBTQ rights, where many of the people on the “other side” hold their positions out of fear, ignorance, discomfort, etc. If someone is able to break down those walls by speaking their language and not scaring them off, and bring them into open and honest conversation with LGBTQ folks and allies, then that, to me, is a step in the right direction.

  • Alan

    Ugh. No, no Calvinist would say that it is a sin to be human. You misunderstand Calvin in the same way that the previous commenter misunderstands sin.

  • Melody

    I see what you’re saying, Allie. But the difference between racism and believing homosexuality is wrong (NOT homophobia) is that while one can easily prove that race is genetic and out of one’s control, being gay is not something that can be determined at birth. So it’s easier for well-meaning people to see homosexuality as an aberration (which, of course it isn’t). They aren’t bad people. They aren’t oppressive. I’m not talking about people who openly label homosexuality as unequivocally sinful. I’m talking about people who are on the fence, like Brian McLaren and Andrew Marin. They aren’t evil, greedy bastards like some of the angry commenters here have expressed. They’re still unsure, as I see it. I don’t see them as responsible for bullying and teen suicides. The ones responsible for that are the ones that won’t let go of viewing homosexuality as sinful, and saying so. This isn’t black and white for them, because homosexuality has been condemned for so long, of course people are still.struggling with it. It isn’t fair to condemn people like McLaren and Marin and call them greedy cowards. And as for jumping through the hoop, it works for SOME people. It took me learning gradually, not instantly. People learn at different rates. Berating them for not changing their minds instantly is unreasonable. It would be nice if it worked, but it doesn’t.

  • Melody

    Care to elaborate? After all, your tone implies that you understand everything we reprobates fail so miserably to comprehend. Impart to us your great wisdom!

  • David,

    Let me clarify, with someone like Rob Bell, I am positive the message is not ““I’m going to pretend the core issue doesn’t exist for the sake of harmony” or let’s not talk about the core issue so that we can have productive dialog.” What I was referring to is not at all motivated by maintaining harmony or creating productive dialogue that avoids the issue. Rather, it was the practical realization that perhaps for a particular congregation, it is better to talk subtly instead of explicitly so that you can reach an audience that would not attend a GLBTQ affirming church, but perhaps can be persuaded over time while their hearts are softened with messages of compassion, e.g. the picture of God that Rob Bell and Shane Hipps paint and explicate would not conceivably condemn anyone for their sexuality, but by letting those on the margins figure this out themselves, rather than explicitly telling them, they not only remain a part of the community “for the sake of harmony,” but pragmatically it may be the ONLY way to reach some close minded folks. Again, I do not know how tenable of a position this is, but I suspect this is what is in the back of many pastors’ minds. There is certainly the reality that if this approach just “encourage[s] people to smile as they continue to victimize LGBT people in the church” then it’s time to stop it. But I don’t think that’s the case of somewhere like Mars Hill (in Grand Rapids) like it is in Driscoll’s Mars Hill, for example.

  • David S

    Hi Bo –

    Thanks for the clarification, but I think I understood you correctly the first time: A softer sell might go further towards changing hearts and minds. OK, I might be able to buy that concept. But without acknowledging that homosexual relationships are not sinful (even if whispered), one is not selling anything other than kumbaya. What kind of support is *that* for a LGBT kid who is trying to figure out why God “cursed” him with these “sinful” feelings? I don’t think I’ve ever heard Rob Bell come out and say that homosexuality is not sinful (please correct me if I’m wrong). When can we expect prominent evangelical faith leaders to take a risk and speak out in love to affirm people who are gay?

  • Larry Petry via Facebook

    I don’t understand the point in alienating this guy. People that are interested in legitimate conversation are father along/more helpful than the [whatever you want to call them, etc] Fundamentalists, right?

  • As someone without a congregation to minister to and someone who is not earning a living as a member of the clergy, I would do it now. But those caveats are important. Fortunately, I think (hope) it is as inevitable as civil and women’s rights. But alas, I’m just a theologian in training, all I have to do is write and argue (and live in a very liberal community), affirmation is no problem!

  • Al

    It’s not a question of alienating this guy. If he has a position for or against homosexuality, he ought to state it. There’s no “legitimate conversation” to be had without first establishing a starting point on which to have the conversation.

  • Alan

    I simply said he was mistaken about the nature of sin. I know of no Christian faith tradition, either modern or ancient (including Calvinism) that has ever held that being human is itself sinful. I don’t think it is necessary to go off topic, as there are plenty of resources out there that would give both you and Andrew a better idea of various views of sin, from multiple perspectives (including Calvinism.) I don’t care if you agree with Calvinism or not, and I have no interest in arguing about Calvinism on someone else’s blog, I just think one should at least have an accurate idea of it if one is going to talk about it.

    And I think it is probably best not to try to read a “tone” into a two sentence comment. Or, I suppose, that if one wants to do so, he or she should probably take a moderate tone themselves. 🙂

  • Dear God. Grown people type with “u” “2” etc? When I see that crap I automatically assume the person is an idiot. May or may not be true, but I’m old so sue me. I just don’t want to see the English language die.

  • Allie

    That race is out of one’s control didn’t prevent racism from being the norm for centuries.

    We half agree, anyway. I agree that it’s not helpful or even truthful to say that someone who is simply having trouble moving past the way the overwhelming majority of people have interpreted the Bible until very recently is a monster. But I think it’s equally important not to say that such a person is right. It’s no sin to be gay. Not saying that, in Marin’s position, is the same as saying it IS a sin to be gay. And that’s bad.

    It’s bad not just because of the effects it has on gay people, but because it’s a symptom of a real problem in the believer’s understanding of what sin is. Sin isn’t just some vague stupid laws handed down by Skydaddy who will send you to bed without supper if you don’t mind him. Things that are sinful are wrong, in a consistent way, which can be understood using your brain, following principles which are clearly stated in the Bible and make sense. Understanding what sin is gives you the keys to the Kingdom, and makes you a child of God, not a slave of the law. And if you believe being gay is sin, you clearly don’t understand what sin is.

  • Alan


    1) This smells for all the world like Mr. Martin has noticed that both you and Dan Savage have been getting some increased attention lately and he’s trying to increase his blog traffic.

    2) This back-and-forth reminds me of a quote from Steel Magnolias, “Are you married or are you not? These are not difficult questions.”

    It isn’t a difficult question, and I think it is very suspicious that someone who says he works so closely with the LGBT community refuses to answer it.

    3) Other commenters seem to take the “What’s the harm?” approach in talking to someone like Mr. Martin. I think giving yet another “love the sinner, hate the sin” guy a platform to again spout such nonsense is indeed harmful.

    He says he just wants a conversation … about what? He’s not interested in getting together to share lasagna recipes. So, obviously he wants to talk about teh gays. Or more accurately, it seems that he wants to get together for you to talk about teh gays because he’s unwilling to actually contribute anything himself. Seems to me that any conversation ought to include the ability to ask a simple question and get a simple answer. If he’s not willing to do that, then I’m not sure how anything resembling a “conversation” could happen.

    If he wants to get his message out there, I assume he has his own blog. It sounds to me like he’s just annoyed because his site stats have been down lately.

  • Allie

    I know what Jesus would do. He wasn’t big on the soft sell. In fact he went as far as explicitly stating that he came to tell people right from wrong so those who insisted on following wrong would have no excuse.

  • Steve

    He is really no different from fundamentalists when you get down to it. He talks all nice, warm and fuzzy, but he isn’t in way, shape or form for gay rights. It’s a sophisticated version of the “love the sinner, hate the sin” BS and even “you can be gay, just don’t act on it”.

  • Michael

    DR, Soulmentor and Kerry, thank you for your comments and encouragement.

  • Steve

    The whole point is that the “two sides” aren’t in any way equal. And he pretends that they are. One side is being discriminated against and the other side is doing the discriminating. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who is wrong.

  • Steve

    Maybe few people would outright say it, but it’s really at the core of most Christian sects. Humans are born sick, wretched without any hope of ever being good on their own. It doesn’t matter what good they do. Belief is either all that counts or a substantial part of it. Most things that make us human and many of our core characteristics (both good and bad) are labeled as sinful. Humanity itself is a condition that needs to be endured and overcome, because the only hope lies in the afterlife.

  • Steve

    Twitter has a 140 character limit (because it started as an SMS service). Sometimes it’s necessary to take shortcuts

  • Alan

    Well, what people think they understand wasn’t what I was commenting on, rather what Christian doctrine actually says in the creeds and confessions of traditional Christian denominations.

    Actually I’ve heard a great many people outright say such nonsense — there’s even a hymn, “This world is not my own, I’m just a-passin’ through.” Doesn’t mean they’re correctly espousing the views of traditional Christian doctrine. For instance, the notion that good works are unimportant isn’t part of any traditional Christian doctrine with which I’m familiar.

    But again, this is all off topic and not particularly important anyway. After all, no one has ever been convinced of anything based on a blog comment, eh? 🙂

  • @Gina Cirelli I sometimes use ‘u’ and ‘2’ because i’ve some learning issues. lol!

  • Steve

    For 1900 years people have quarreled and killed each other over what is correct Christian doctrine. During that time they have splintered into over 18000 different sects, each of whom considered only themselves to be the One True Church. If you think you understand all of them and have the perfect insight, there are thousands of people out there who will call you a heretic for it.

  • Or wasn’t he? He seemed quite happy to dine and party with people he vehemently disagreed with, and I’m sure, given the repeated invitations, it wasn’t just a matter of Jesus berating those with misguided and even hateful views. Furthermore, on at least a few of the heated issues of his day, Jesus often transcended the simple binary and provided third-way, unexpected responses. Furthermore, amongst Jesus’s followers were both tax collectors radicals (zealots)! Even in Jesus’s lifetime, his disciples perceived his mission vastly differently (Peter, until the end, expected a real Jewish Messiah who would overthrow the Romans! Matthew probably did not see Jesus this way at all…) and it seems Jesus did not simply tell them “right” from “wrong” in this sense, and even his consistant use of parable (a genre that is often inherently ambiguous) speaks further that Jesus was not the black and white prophet that many fundamentalists make him out to be.

    Of course there were times when Jesus laid down the law- in the Temple, to Zachias, to the Pharisees on occasion, etc. but this is not the consistant pattern of Jesus’s ministry. I believe any wise teacher leaves room for the students to grow and figure things out for themselves, rather than dolling out simple and unambiguous answers to complex questions. Let’s be honest, we don’t KNOW Jesus would affirm GLBTQ folks – he was still, after all, a first century Jewish peasant. Cultural factors may have been just too much to overcome. However, it is my firm conviction that the radical “queering” love of Jesus, as Patrick Cheng would say, provides a powerful model to inspire our own radical practices of love and justice in our current context. It is the poetics of Jesus that leads us to justice by appropriating his message and teachings for our own time, rather than the simple transference of explicit, “eternal” unchanging truths from the first century. Jesus didn’t come just to “tell us right from wrong,” but to transform our being in unimaginable ways with new life, not answers.

  • Lymis

    I don’t know Rob Bell, so anything I say is not about him or his work.

    But at the same time, someone who does have a clear and definite (especially if it is positive) message should be able to articulate it far better than simply saying “you don’t have all the facts” in an ongoing exchange like this. And someone who does it for a living (and chooses Twitter as their medium FOR the exchange should be even more able to do so.

    “Love the sinner but hate the sin” is THE default “nice” Christian philosophy about homosexuality. NOBODY claiming to be working with gay people as a professional Christian can possibly not have a view on that idea. It’s not an esoteric point, and it’s impossible not to have come across it.

    So waffling on the point simply cannot be based on “gosh, never thought of that, give me a bit to think it through.”

    And if his answer is some variation on “it’s more complicated than that, and the question is framed wrong, so I really can’t answer it with a yes or no until I discuss some underlying ideas that I think are common false assumptions” then he should be able to say so, clearly and distinctly, and by now, should be able to have some variation of it that fits in a Twitter feed.

    If, for example, he’s assuming that John is saying “Nothing any gay person does sexually can ever be sinful” (which would make a claim that he knows and respects John’s work to be patently false; John never says such a thing) then something like “All people are sinners and capable of sexual sins that arise from the expression of their orientation, gay and straight alike” could be a starting point for a discussion.

    That doesn’t disagree with John’s view, but it does move the focus more toward sexual sin than “being gay isn’t a sin” does, while both stating a similar truth.

    But this “I refuse to go on the record saying anything positive about gay people while pretending to actually be positive toward gay people” is a waffle, and as such, reflects an agenda.

  • Alan

    Lol. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time. 🙂

  • n.

    Things that are continually changing don’t die. It’s when they stop evolving that they die.

  • n.

    I should say “and being flexible” because i don’t really think those abbreviations are a permanent part of English. I think they are a flexibility for the medium at hand…

  • Lawrence Petry

    I get what you guys are saying, but if this is the case, how do you ever expect to shift anyone’s views if you are unwilling to even consider/converse with those who are honestly wrestling with the issue? How will you win them over?

    It’s probably because I’m reading from his side, but Marin comes across as awfully gracious in this exchange (and don’t stretch my words…i’m speaking of the exchange itself)

    I can also see the frustrations with the impression that Marin had a more…clear stance than it appears he does. I just get frustrating seeing the lack of patience/tolerance for those who are honestly seeking to sort out the complexity of these issues.

  • Lymis

    Lana, I think you are absolutely right in what you say, but I’m not at all clear on what you don’t say.

    Is what he’s doing okay with you or not?

    I can have some sympathy for someone whose ministry isn’t to gay people, or who isn’t trying to make a name for himself welcoming gay people as a significant part of his ministry. That might be cowardly, it might be prudent, it might be beside the point. And it might be quite subversive in a quiet way, laying seeds of tolerance without making it clear that’s what they are doing.

    All that goes out the window when you openly and publicly aim part or all of your ministry specifically at gay people. Then you really do need to take a side on this – is your ministry actually welcoming gay people and inviting God into the fabric of their lives, or are you trying to passive-aggressively suck gay people in so you can convince them they have to change something basic about their very identity?

    That’s not a minor point, and it’s not something you can be neutral on when it’s the point of what you’re doing.

  • Lawrence Petry

    good insights here. 🙂

  • Lawrence Petry

    ah… I should have read. Echoing Bo and David’s exchange below.

  • Lawrence Petry

    This will be a good post to see. I think much discussion/progress, etc… hinges on this very point.

  • Lawrence Petry

    good stuff Bo… thanks for keeping it honest.

    can you flesh out the idea behind the Patrick Chen phrase?

    I hadn’t heard that one before.

  • Anna Joy

    This pisses me off, Marin. And I’m torn a bit. So, please hear me out.

    I just recently read Love is an Orientation and I thought it was good. Not because of what it said about gay rights, but Jesus. At first, it seemed to me a very third way approach which, given Jesus’s common responses, struck me as a way for conservative folks to dip their feet in the water of…”oh, maybe QUILTBAG folks aren’t the monsters we assumed.”

    I really, really wanted to like Marin because, well, I always felt he came from a place of good intentions. Good as a Christian was ever going to get, until I found folks like John and the rest of you guys. Plus, he was someone I could recommend to my pastor who might convince him that there is no gay agendas beside wanting full citizenship.

    Then, I thought about it. As a woman, am I satisfied with being considered inferior to men? Do I accept the “separate but equal” distinction of complementarian gender roles? Would I love nothing more than for John Piper and Mark Driscoll and Wayne Grudem to “repent” and stop saying hurtful things that trigger me every time they open their mouths? And, what about the women who are suffering in the Quiverfull and Christian Patriarchy movements, abused by their husbands. Or what of the women who are told to be more “submissive” by their pastors when their husband starts to abuse them.

    I call bull shit.

    And, now that Marin is laid out this way, I realize he is no longer cutting it. It is not satisfactory to “converse” about it any longer. In fifty years, when conservative Christians have lost the debate, loving the sinner bull will be remembered as the last outpost of the cowardly.


  • Amy

    Brena, you just made my day. I’ve been searching for a concise statement about what it means to be human and to be sinful, and what the difference is. Because I just haven’t been able to form coherent thoughts around this subject. All I’ve ever heard in church is that we are bad to the core and that we deserve to burn forever because of it, so the Big Angry Sky Daddy punished His kid instead; we get the benefits if we say the magic words and “accept him into our hearts.”

    What you’ve written is the best explanation I’ve heard on the subject and makes a lot of sense.

  • Melody

    Thank you. I get so sick of people acting like they know everything about spirituality and then not even explaining why they.think you’re wrong. I mean, really. It’s a sin to be human?? God MADE humans, for fuck’s sake! Anyone who says it’s a sin to be human is full of shit to the brim and obviously sees Christianity through guilt-colored glasses. Some people really disgust me.

  • Carol VanderNat


  • Sure Lawrence, in “Radical Love,” Cheng writes of a “second meaning” (after the conventional reference to LGBT matters and pride) of the word queer and defines it as: “a self conscious embrace of all that is transgressive of societal norms, particularly in the area of sexual and gender identity. In fact, this term is best understood as a verb or action. That is, to ‘queer’ something is to engage with a methodology that challenges and disrupts the status quo… to ‘queer’ something is to turn convention and authority on its head.It is about seeing things in a different light and reclaiming voices and sources that previously had been ignored, silenced, or discarded.”

    So in this sense, if it is helpful, I fully endorse the claim that “Jesus is queer (or queering).” Of course this is just a nice little spin on a kind of Derridian Deconstructive practice, but that’s alright, I’ll cut Cheng some slack, he’s a cool dude.

  • John, I really appreciate you calling Marin out. As a Christian and a lesbian and a clergyperson and a woman married for ten years to the most beautiful godly woman (my personal collection of filters), when I originally discovered his website and ministry I was intrigued but it really only took a superficial read to see it was the same rhetoric in a prettier package. For that reason I’ve always found his “I’m sorry” presence at gay pride parades more self-promoting and pandering than anything else. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say there’s a part of him that’s sincere in all this but really, he adds nothing to the conversation and nothing to reconciliation other than giving those individuals and churches who continue to hold the traditional orothodox view of homosexuality as sin some outlet that makes them feel they’re doing their part in bridge building when they’re really doing nothing at all. I realize that’s harsh but as year after year ticks by and this continues to even be a debate despite the gathering witness of gay lives, life-long relationships, boundless resources of biblical research and interpretation, the painfully-slow but ever spreading movement of gay affirmation within Christianity and other faiths, and the tragic growing count on gay suicides and violence around the world….I’m just over the position of those who are doing nothing but cloaking old ideologies in contemporary hip threads. I could say more but it would just be more of the same. So anyway John, thanks for being in everyone’s face. I mean it. You said this day would come but I never imagined it would be in such a big way and you blow my mind just about every other day.

  • Lawrence Petry

    pretty interesting. Thanks for the reply, Bo.

  • Lawrence Petry


    there’s a huge vast portion of Christianity that has taken the concept of sin in humanity very seriously. NOT that “it’s a sin to be human,” but ..that all human beings, on a deep level, to various extents and manifestions deal with brokenness and sin.

    although quite a damning reality, it’s a fair assesment of humanity (if we’re honest).

    I think there’s a… concern on the part of many Evangelicals (myself included here) what happens if we wholesale chuck the concepts of “sin” and “humans are sinners” out the window.

  • Lawrence Petry

    and you’re right…..a propensity of that is to lean heavy on the guilt-colored glasses, unfortunately.

  • Don Rappe

    God made the beasts of the field and other living creatures after their own kind, but humanity was made in God’s own image. This is what precludes the notion that humanity is inherently sinful, along with the teaching of the true humanity of Jesus. But, nitpickingly, we all have fallen from grace. This, of course, was the intention of the commenter. This distinction is fairly subtle (like the serpent beast of the field) and causes a lot of intellectual grief for the various faith traditions. DR is catholic and believes in the perfectibility of grace. Lutherans do not seem to, and Calvinists hold a definitely darker view. My own view has shifted with time. I recall that having walked with God, Enoch was seen no more, because God had taken him away.

  • Don Rappe

    This is a strong recommendation.

  • DR

    Bo, I appreciate the grey, people like this guy are in progress, etc. I can also appreciate that people like Andrew are causing some good things to happen and their intent is good. All good.

    But all this movement *toward* the gay community actually needs to end somewhere conclusive. Andrew stops short of a black or white camp and to believe that we can exist in the grey in this issue is to maintain the power and control we enjoy as the privileged group in America (Christians in America are tremendously privileged, there is no other religion in our country that can actually influence *the law* like ours). To actually believe that we can “love the sin and hate the sinner” when the GLBT community has told us how damaging it is and how it does nothing for them emotionally, spiritually or legally is something we have got to pay attention to.

    Andrew Martin might think he’s being loving. Offering to make amends to the GLBT community is without doubt, the right thing to do. But he is as a straight man, still calling the shots. He’s maintaining the last word on what *really* loving the GLBT community means. Until he’s willing to give them the last word, he’s not the loving guy he’s wanting everyone to believe he is. I’m sure he wants to be. I’m sure people experience him that way. But the quality of our love is ultimately determined by those who are on the receiving end. If we’re unwilling to allow them the last word on what our impact is, we’re only interested in intimacy on our own specific terms.

  • DR- I agree with you 100%. If anything I said was contrary to what you have said here, I misspoke or was not clear.

  • Don Rappe

    Jesus said: “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” It’s possible to love someone who can’t do this, but, it’s not possible to have a serious conversation with them. I take this to be the point of John’s post.

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for writing about our conversation. A few points of clarification:

    1. I did not delete any tweet in our interaction. In fact, I’ve never deleted any tweet I’ve ever written in my few years on Twitter. There are some tweets I wish I HAD deleted, but alas, if I’m bold enough (or stupid enough) to write something online in the first place, it should stay up there. Just my personal policy.

    2. I did reply after your last tweet to me. I posted the response at 9:24am on Sunday the 10th (I noticed that is the same date this blog post went live. Not sure what time it went live, so I’m believing it was before my tweet in the morning). My response tweet said: “Looking frwd to talking on Skype/phone to u one day. When ur ready to hv a simple conversation, I’m always free 773-572-5983.” And yes, that is my real phone number. (For the commenter that hates my abbreviations, I hate them too. But limited to 140 characters means that sometimes you hv 2 do what u hv 2 do n order 2 hv convos).

    3. This third point is the big one: It is kind of strange that you make an offer that I can guest post on your blog, and then you don’t let me know about the invitation. You didn’t tweet me an invitation. You didn’t Facebook me an invitation. You didn’t email me an invitation. You didn’t call me with an invitation. Unfortunately I don’t read your blog, so how was I supposed to know you invited me? I will believe that you had the best intentions to reach out to me with a direct invitation, but probably either forgot to do so, or just assumed I read your blog. Either way, that sure is leaving a lot to chance. BUT, fortunately for me, 15 minutes ago someone on Facebook sent me a link to this post and I’m finally reading it now (about 11:20pm on Sunday the 10th, to be exact). Next time it would really be great if, when you invite someone to do something–whether on your blog or in real life–you actually let them know about the invitation. That way both of us can have actual accountability if I don’t accept your invitation; instead of potentially writing in the future about how I “never responded to your invitation” which, actually, would not be a true statement. To make sure this accidental situation never happens again, my direct email is andrew@themarinfoundation.org and my direct phone number, which I already tweeted to you, is again, 773-572-5983.

    4. I would LOVE to write a post! Thanks for the invitation. I’m guessing I should email it to john@johnshore.com. Is that correct? I unfortunately won’t be checking back on your site, blog or this comment section until my guest post goes live. Please, then, on a separate medium confirm for me the exact details (preferably via email) so nothing gets accidentally lost. So if you’re sincere in this invitation please email me (andrew@themarinfoundation.org) or if you insist, tweet me (@Andrew_Marin) or Facebook me (Facebook.com/marin.andrew) or call me (773-572-5983!) with the details so I can answer all the questions, etc.

    Thanks for this opportunity and I truly look forward to interacting with your community. And selfishly, I’m quite excited we’re finally going to connect on some other medium than Twitter. If we can’t have an actual talking conversation, this will do for now.

    Much love.


  • DR

    Andrew, it’s pretty simple. Everyone read the Tweet exchange. John asked you if you believed that being gay was a sin and if you do. it’s no use having a conversation with you. It’s a yes or no question and you wanting to make it more complicated is more than likely, so you can stay in the middle where everyone likes you.

    There will be a point where you need to pick a lane, regardless of how many supporters you have and how much good you do (and I’m sure you do a lot). “Love the sinner, hate the sin” just doesn’t cut it anymore. The GLBT community has told us that. They have told us specifically, what kind of advocate they are looking for and many of us are asking you to identify quite simply, what you believe about being gay in terms of being sinful. Let your yes be yes, your no be no. There’s integrity in that.

  • Oof. Hunbun, you probably don’t really want to put your phone number on there…unless it’s one your assistant answers and even then (being an admin assistant), I pity him/her. Oh wait…I see it’s your foundation’s number. Nevermind. I suppose your admin is used to getting calls in both critical and supportive veins.

    I do recommend that if you are able to have conversation with John, that you do give him your answer on whether or not you believe homosexuality is a sin. You don’t have to say it here or on your site, but do know what you believe before discussing the issue with him. If you know anything about John, that’s a clear-cut starting point with him that can’t be danced around.

  • Leslie Marbach

    Jessica, I like your stepping stone analogy. I would absolutely love if people like Marin or my mom could just take the jump and end up on the last stepping stone where I am, but I’m not going to judge them for being somewhere in the middle either. The conversations with my mom show me very clearly that she wants to do right, she wants to be completely loving as Jesus taught. It’s hard to get past what you’ve believed all your life and your parents and grandparents believed.

    I’ll accept people in the middle. I draw the line at accepting people who vocally tell me and others that we’re sinning by being who God made us to be. Those are the people that actively hurt people. Yes, the people in the middle hurt people. I’ve been hurt. But I try to look at the intentions. That’s impossible to do without a relationship filled with conversations and respect. I also know that those people way back there at the first stepping stone (those who say being gay is an abomination and should be thrown in a fenced in place, etc) are never going to listen to me or anyone else on this side of the path. They *might* listen to someone like Marin though.

  • If he was interested in legitimate conversation he could have said “Yes, I believe it’s a sin.. but I’m open to conversation or I leave the judging to God or whatever”. He just kept skirting around his opinion.

  • Ford


    What has Marin said or written that makes you think he is on the fence? If he is, I can respect that and wholly agree with you. Perhaps I’m too skeptical, but I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. If it is, I think he would be explicit that he’s still trying to personally work through the issue. My guess is that he’s being coy at the expense of people who are gay.

  • Lawrence Petry

    “If you know anything about John, that’s a clear-cut starting point with him that can’t be danced around.”

    I think you hit the nail on the head about this whole thing.

    Some people think it’s not so clear cut. Some think it is.

    Hence the debate.

  • Kelven

    Andrew – you do realize everyone has read this whole exchange don’t you? It is like having your conversation in front of a very large group of people and John posing a fairly clear and pointed question. Telling John you want to talk to him privately pretty much tells me all I need to know. If you are sorry for the appalling ways that Christians have treated gays but still believe we are going to hell, then it is really not an apology.

  • Kelven

    You articulate a lot of great observations here. Christians who think they can love the sinner while still condemning them, are just trying to make themselves feel less guilty for having such an un-Christ like attitude.

  • Ford

    Lawrence –

    I don’t really think its all that complicated. There are three answers to the question “do you believe homosexual relationships are sinful?” – yes, no, or I’m not sure. Some Christians who are gay and gay-affirming would not take “I’m not sure” as a positive answer; I would. That’s a person I would gladly engage in dialog with.

    If there’s more ambiguity than that – if there’s more to the story that makes it “not so clear cut” – then I’d really like to try to understand what it is.

  • Kelven

    I love the cookie blog BTW!

  • Lymis

    That’s an awful lot of words to continue to dodge a simple question.

  • Lymis

    Thank you, DR. So many people miss that point.

  • n.

    i think it’s one thing for a regular person to have a period of “still trying to figure it out”. it’s different with a christian leader who works with the population that they are still trying to figure out if those people have a right to exist.

  • I am incredibly grateful to be free from such belief, that “humans are born sick, wretched without any hope of ever being good on their own.”

  • Andrew,

    Just answer the question. You seem “helpful” with all the unneeded contact information and details on dates and time and still evade the issue. Answer the question. Right here. Are you scared or ashamed of what you truly believe? I would respect you more if someone could get a straight and honest answer out of you without all the posturing and semantical wrangling. Answer the question with one word. Don’t quantify. Don’t clarify. Just answer the question. We will be waiting.


  • Love it! This captures perfectly the loving, concerned, sometimes teary faces of some of those who have rejected me.

  • Andrew,

    Just answer the question. You seem “helpful” with all the unneeded contact information and details on dates and time and still evade the issue. Answer the question. Right here. Are you scared or ashamed of what you truly believe? I would respect you more if someone could get a straight and honest answer out of you without all the posturing and semantical wrangling. Answer the question with one word. Don’t quantify. Don’t clarify. Just answer the question. We will be waiting.


  • Lymis


    I think you are confusing the underlying question at issue.

    The question here isn’t even whether being gay is a sin. The question is why Andrew Marin isn’t willing to clearly state an opinion on the issue. There really isn’t any “debate” on that.

    The “debate,” for whatever it may be worth, can start once he does clearly state his opinion. Until then, he gets to keep moving the goalposts on his end of the field as far and as often as he wants.

    This isn’t a random person. This is a person who is famous for “reaching out” the the LGBT community and expressing “apologies” in the name of Christianity for the way Christians have treated LGBT people.

    Given that, the question comes down to whether his message is “All gay relationships and all homosexual sexual activity is inherently sinful and God condemns it regardless of what the motivations or results are, but Christians don’t have to be mean to the awful sinners” or whether his message is “It is as possible to have a healthy, loving, and sacred relationship between two people of the same sex as it is between two people of opposite sexes, and Christians are wrong when they categorically deny that and refuse to embrace people in same-sex relationships into the community of God’s people in the Church.”

    And, related to that is the question of what right people who never experience something, and don’t deal with it in their own lives, have to not only condemn the experience of those who do, but refuse to even listen to their stories?

    People who pretend that this “debate” is between two equal sides, morally or intellectually, are either kidding themselves or aren’t paying attention.

    People who claim a place in the center of this issue and claim to be speaking for God and for the entire Christian community (with his “I’m sorry” shirts) don’t get to stand on the sidelines of the central question.

    Whether or not there is a valid debate about all this in the Christian community or in the wider society, the idea that there is a valid debate inside the mind of Andrew Marin is ridiculous – and if there is such a debate, then he shouldn’t have any issues with clearly expressing it.

  • Steve

    I’m far from convinced that Marin is honest about his motives. It all seems very self-serving and self-promoting to me. It’s way too much about *him*

  • Steve

    Of course they are concerned with it. The concept of sin allows for the introduction of arbitrary thought crimes. Doing away with that would take away the main tool they have to control people.

  • Thank you, Lymis, for articulating all that so clearly!

  • Ford,

    I don’t think Marin is on the fence. I think he very purposely lives in the middle so as to stay in conversation with as many people as possible. Perhaps his motives are not pure and he is profit-driven, as many people seem to think. But do I still think God can use him to change people’s hearts and minds? Absolutely. We may be uncomfortable with his noncommital stance, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have an important role to play in drawing people who are not on the fence but in the camp of hatred, ignorance, fear, etc., to be farther down the spectrum toward love and acceptance. I can easily imagine people who find it easier to go from hatred to Andrew Marin’s work to John Shore’s work than to make the leap from hatred to John Shore’s work. And if that’s the case, then I’m fine with him doing what he needs to do to remain in that stepping-stone position.

  • Allie

    Where is the answer to the question?

  • Melody

    Bingo. Do I believe sin is real? Of course I do. What I don’t believe is that humans are sinful to the core so that every waking minute our actions–and, as Alan has the audacity to claim–simply being human are crime-ridden. All based on two or three prooftexts taken out of context. I believe humans have good AND evil tendencies inside, not just evil as Calvinists and other conservative Christians believe. It’s what we act on that matters.

  • Melody

    Okay, I can understand you being on the fence about this. What I don’t understand is this: Why won’t you answer the goddamn question?? Say yes, no, I’m not sure–something! THEN we can discuss it. I’m beginning to question your motives as well. It seems you’re more concerned with how it’ll make you look than with being honest. That’s not very wise.

  • Lawrence Petry

    I get what you’re saying.

    And i think I understand a miniscule amount of the hurt/pain/frustation that comes from the… Marin’s misreprestation of where he might be at.

    I find it interesting that many refuse to allow Marin to say “I’m sorry that we (the established church.. and Marin, etc.) have hurt you.” I really do think he’s genuine in expressing that. And i find that to be a very good example (or first step) for many evangelicals to follow.

    I think I get where he’s coming from. My hunch is that he isn’t where John, many of you are in saying categorically “it’s no sin to be gay.”

    So many broad terms are included in this discussion.

    -What is sin?: missing the mark, willful transgression, ouright rebellion vs God?

    -what a relationship entails (both good and bad): in any loving relationship, a LOT of sin is exposed… my own pride, selfishness, lack of love, lack of empathy, lack of patience, etc. Any relationship likely reveals and contains actions/attitudes that are sinful on some level

    – issues of identity: what comes first and foremost? Being “gay” or being a Christ-follower? We all have (explicit and implicit) ways we identify ourselves when Christ establishes himself as the number one priority in life.

    There are SO many things that are intertwined. Let alone the tension between what we believe in our heads contrasted with the messiness of real life.

    again, my hunch is that Marin has opportunities to walk alongside and help certain pockets of people walking through many of these struggles and questions. At the very least, he acknowledges and is apologetic for the horrific actions of the church towards homosexuals.

    it’s likely that he doesn’t line up with the majority of you here. In your eyes, what does that do to his apology? Is it not valid at all? Is it a good step? Is the gesture appreciated at any level?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts. just seeking/sharing some perspective.

  • Frank

    Keep up the great work Andrew. Don’t let these poor misguided, deceived people bully you into a falsehood. They have very little truth behind their beliefs. How sad.

  • Lawrence Petry

    This. This. This.

    and it’s an extremely tough role, because both sides will damn him for “not answering the question.”

    thanks Jessica.

  • Frank

    In 50 years we will be studying how, once again, good people got something so wrong. Homosexual behavior is a sin and no amount of wrangling is going to change that, not now, not 50 years from now and not 500 years from now.

  • Melody

    Frank, he hasn’t said whether he believes it’s a sin or not. Read the actual article, dipshit.

    Oh, one more thing. I’ve been dying to tell you this, but Tony would ban me for saying it. John won’t, however, so here goes:

    FUCK OFF, you homophobic, motherfucking asshole.

  • Melody

    Fuck off, troll.

    (Man, that feels good!)

  • Lawrence Petry


    So, sort of Dualism? (I’m not using that in a judgemental tone… just categorizing what you’re saying… with categories in and of themselves being silly)

    I would posit that there is a tug-of-war, especially post-conversion/Jesus/Holy Spirit.

    I believe that original sin marks, mars and permeates humanity.. although, yes, there are MANY MANY examples of “sinful people” doing very good and amazing things.

  • Lawrence Petry

    is it possible for him (and others) to invite God into the fabric of people’s lives as a FIRST priority, and not working to change “something so basic about their identity?”

    I think it might be.

  • Frank

    Yet another Christian showing the love of Christ. Well done, not surprising but well done!

  • Frank

    Lawrence I wouldn’t expect too much from the fundamentalists here. Just wait and see how they respond to me.

    Some good thoughts though!

  • Jude Hines via Facebook

    Thank you for exposing this. When a photo of a pride parade participant hugging an Andrew Marin participant with an ‘I’m sorry’ t-shirt went facebook viral last year I studied their webpage and saw how stealth they were with their choosing of words, but still not affirming same-sex relationships. I’d almost rather have a Fred Phelps with his ‘God Hates Fags’ posters than this because of it’s deceptive appearance of acceptance, when it’s really not.

  • You hit the nail on the head with the “both sides against the middle” comment … (I admit I know nothing of Andrew Marin, but have friends that respect him).
    I have a number of friends (generally from evangelical charismatic backgrounds, like mine) that are gay-friendly to some degree, but I suspect they’re not ready to flat-out say “It is no sin to be gay” either… and “for the sake of appearance”, I don’t know how many would employ or allow an openly gay person in a position of responsibility or leadership… so much progress yet to be made…

  • Fortunately there’s other folk that are more “totally bought in”!

  • Carol VanderNat

    To quote Meatloaf:

    “What’s it gonna be, boy? Yes….or no…..”

  • Lymis

    I have no idea of your heart, your experience, or your motivations on this. I can only interpret what you actually say through the lens of my own experience.

    That, said, here’s the problem I have with what you’re saying. You are talking about this like it’s an abstract theological point, suitable for sitting around over coffee, or wine, and having a high-minded philosophical discussion. Your bullet points just bear that out.

    You’re completely ignoring, or utterly out of touch with, what this whole issue feels like to us – especially people who have been run out of churches, physically bullied, unfairly fired, and/or dealing with the ongoing daily real-life effects of what this sort of discrimination does in our lives, everything from literally thousands of extra dollars in taxes or health care costs, to the soul-sucking daily grind of having to constantly defend our identity and our love to people who have no business even having an opinion and who would be highly offended if anyone demanded they defend their own lives in a tiny portion of what they inflict on us.

    “issues of identity: what comes first and foremost? Being “gay” or being a Christ-follower?”

    Do you have any idea what you are saying? Would you even dream of asking a black person whether they have to choose between being black and being Christian? Or ask a woman which comes first, being a woman or following Christ?

    My life doesn’t slice that way. Everything I do, from buying groceries or getting the mail to following Christ, I do as a gay man. Even asking the question you do means you think that I can separate out that experience, and it carries with it the baggage of the thousands of people who have come before you who ask that question or variations of it with the unspoken conviction that I am supposed to choose, and that I am supposed to somehow choose against being gay, in order to follow Jesus.

    Yes, it matters a hell of a lot what his motivations for the apology are. In the days of slavery, if someone said “Christians have a lot to say I’m sorry about with regards how we’ve treated slaves” wouldn’t you say “it mattered” whether what they meant was that nobody should own anyone else, or whether slavery itself is just fine as long as you treat your slaves well? Would you say to black people “Is it not valid at all? Is it a good step? Is the gesture appreciated at any level?”

    Would you claim that it’s an issue that deserves debate and that white people of good will should be allowed to have their own feelings about the question honored while the black people don’t get a voice in the question and certainly don’t have the final say in whether they feel it constitutes decent treatment?

    If, as it really appears, all he is doing is saying that Christians need to condemn gay people in kinder language in order to draw us into a situation where it is easier to convince us that we are sinful and need to give up our core identity, then yes, it’s an issue – because it’s a lie and a cheat and in many ways, even more evil than outright condemnation.

    We have a right to know what his motivations are before it is demanded that we declare whether what he is doing is a good thing or a bad thing, precisely because his motivations define which it is. I don’t “refuse to allow him to say it” – I have direct, personal, painful, and very, very real reasons to believe he has ulterior motives.

    So stop patting LGBT people on the head for a minute and actually listen to us instead of telling us what we are supposed to think about our own lives and experience. Sorry if it doesn’t line up neatly with your preconceptions, but when my life doesn’t match your philosophy, it isn’t my reality that’s wrong.

  • I wish he was a “not a sickness, not a sin” Christian, but that’s apparently not what he believes (although he hasn’t said that, either, has he?). His work is still valuable in that it helps “both sides” learn to get along despite such fundamental disagreements (although for that work to have meaning, one would have to be open about those disagreements). Hopefully there is a demarcation in his work between such peacemaking and any evangelizing… I’d hate to find out that in private he’s counseling any vulnerable LGBT neighbors in crisis to switch sides for Jesus. I wonder if your efforts would be more effective working with Cameron Strang of RELEVANT to create a plan to use his incredible platform to catalyze young progressive Christian allies?

  • How unfortunate.

    Way to avoid the question, Mr Marin.

  • Lawrence Petry


    I wasn’t attempting (not intentionally) to “pat anyone on the head.”

    Your response is well-worded and helpful. I’m well aware there are deffiencies (sp?), or “blind-spots” inherent in my own context and experience. Your response highlights many of those, including lack of empathy.

    Please don’t discount the genuine questions of evangelicals (or whatever label one wants to use) who are seeking to learn more. This may seem stupid or surprisingly to you, but many of us (myself included) don’t get enough opportunities to learn from those with different walks of life.

    Thanks for the honesty!

  • Sorry to be so petty, but that picture simply screams “douchebag.” If we can do without his help, so much the better.

  • Christelle

    Frank. Doodle. +++++++ . Anonymous…. is that you? you all sound the same…

  • Carol VanderNat

    …and the answer is……

  • Lawrence Petry

    There are SO many things that are intertwined. Let alone the tension between what we believe in our heads contrasted with the messiness of real life.

    and I realize things aren’t merely abstractions or theological concepts. One of the tricky things about intenet sites, as helpful or insightful as they might be. We can’t really “do life” on here.

  • Lawrence Petry

    (first paragraph was meant to be a block quote from earlier… didn’t know how to do it 🙂 )

  • MsJamie0

    Melody i bet jesus used to pretty straight forward provocatively potent to the point (using the veinacular of the day) words when he was turning over the tables of the money changers too…just saying jesus doesn’t have virgin ears. has seen and heard and bore it all. concluded, and said: that we are all eligible to be included in His Kingdom. It is His bottom line and no jerk off , like you, can tell me that jesus lied

  • Lawrence Petry


  • Christelle

    Lawrence… you seem like someone who is truly searching and wanting to progress… I highly suggest volunteering with an organization such as The Trevor Project… attend a PFLAG meeting… Get to know the LGBTQ community, their hearts, their stories… That’s where change begins… and remember – equality is the sum of LOVE… in every sense of the word.

  • Lawrence Petry

    thanks. That’s good advice.

  • MsJamie0

    after reading through the convo i stopped to think for a moment and remember that the first thought that came to mind was that Marin is a coward by stating right off the bat he will not continue reading this blog. meaning he cannot face the truth about what ppl think about him, what he is doing and how far off base he really is and he really hasn’t made up his mind. it’s really is a simple yes or no (or i don’t know) question and until he responds the convo goes nowhere. i think he keeps looking like an fool in many ways….

  • Larry Petry via Facebook

    that is pretty petty.

  • Brandon Mouser via Facebook

    Perhaps, sometimes bridge building is less about personal convictions and more about building bridges of understanding between groups of people who don’t understand each other.

    I believe it takes all kinds of people and approaches to bring about societal changes.

    Marin would, most likely, never have the opportunities to speak where he speaks if he’s explicit about where he personally stands. If he didn’t receive those invitations, the people who would have heard him speak, now won’t, and now those people get to stay in their sterile little bubbles of ignorance instead of hearing about another way.

    Though his approach is not my approach, or yours, John, I don’t believe it’s any less helpful than what you do on your blog.

    Marin’a approach is different, but that doesn’t make it bad.

  • Leslie Marbach

    Yes! Jessica answered Ford exactly how I would have had I, umm, had more coffee. Thank you. 🙂

  • Brandon Mouser via Facebook

    *Marin’s approach…

  • Lawrence Petry

    i think he knows where he’s at and understands (to a mild extent) the ramifications.

    He said he wasn’t a reader of the blog in the first place. Many leaders try to avoid constant checking of what’s-the-latest-being-said-about-me.

    (granted, I know nothing about Marin and how much of his work entails an internet presence.)

  • Lawrence Petry

    fair enough. I’m hesitant to make that judgement, but I don’t have he experiences that many here do. Nor am I knowledgable about his work.

    it just seems….slippery to be assuming people’s motives. You can judge the fruit and make a conclusion, but no one ultimately, completely knows what’s in the heart of a person (including themselves). Motives are tricky, complicated things.

    But fun to discuss. 🙂

  • Leslie Marbach

    Lawrence, you’re exactly right. Although being in the middle is sometimes the perfect place to be in order to effect change, those on both ends can and often do damn him. We see that here in a sense. (Though I don’t see it as “damning” per se, more like, encouraging Marin to come all the way over to the side of truth.)

    I think those of us on this end of the spectrum who believe God fully loves and accepts all people need to be careful to still love and accept all people wherever they are on their journey. We don’t have to agree with them or like what they believe, but if we alienate them we’ll never have the chance to converse.

  • Ford

    Lawrence. Thanks for engaging in this conversation – sincerely thanks. There are really two things I almost always hear from evangelicals – engaging in “the gay lifestyle” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) is a choice and I am willfully going against the will of God (and therefore will burn in hell). And the other is that being gay is not a choice but that the to be a real, bible believing Christian (code for “one who believes exactly as I do”), I must live my life out in chaste singleness (or else I will burn in hell). After much prayer, study and pain, God has led me to a different truth: I am a child of God, created in His image, worthy of the fullness of life that comes from loving a partner and sharing a life together.

    So forget all of the other smoke screen stuff – what is sin, what other sins are there in a relationship, etc. Its a simple, simple question: are committed, monogamous gay relationships inherently sinful? Churches that answer yes to that question, regardless of how loving they think they are being (and I do believe many anti-gay Christians are not haters) do a great deal of harm to the congregants who are gay…especially the kids. So, is the “I’m sorry” guy advocating for an end to the mental and spiritual abuse? Or is he perpetuating it?

  • Kelven

    One day you will admit the fact that your perception of God is your choice. You choose the type of God you follow based on acceptance of your own or others interpetation of scripture and testimony. So ultimately YOU CHOOSE to follow a God of conditional love or unconditional love. Quit trying to hide behind the bible as your excuse to codemn others.

  • Frank

    God love us all unconditionally but also wants us to “sin no more.” An impossible command to be sure but one we should do our best to follow. Jesus says loving God is following His commandments. Loving others like we love ourselves is not allowing, condoning, affirming or tolerating ourselves or others to sin.

    You are correct that you have chosen your own god to follow so you can live, or let others live exactly the way they want. Unfortunately Christianity is not living the way we want but living the way God wants us to live. Homosexual behavior is not the way of God.

  • Food for thought with documentation. Still waiting to hear from Andrew…



    Seems like Andrew is just repackaging more of his old tripe in shinier new wrapping. It is the same old dirge we have heard from the church for eons, but this time he wants our money too to support it. Shame on him.


  • Andrew in his own words. Can anyone decipher what in the world he is attempting to convey here? I cannot see the tree for the forest…



  • Steve

    Has Marin ever disavowed and apologized for the rejection, disillusionment, ex-gay quackery he peddled to youth pastors in his talks only four years ago:



    I doubt it. This is his MO. Be anti-gay to a Christian audience and be evasive to a gay audience. That way both sides will be somewhat responsive and the money will flow from both. He is nothing but a fraud.

  • “I have been accused of ‘telling LGBT people what they want to hear and conservative people what they want to hear’. The answer to that is partially correct. I use the exact same Principles (e.g. Won’t answer yes/no, Principles of Bridge Building, etc) that communicates the exact same message no matter who the audience (and that includes the numerous non-Christian universities I have spoken at, which the audience consisted of liberal LGBT people and straight conservatives!), but the particulars of how/what I can push that audience on looks different.” ~ Andrew Marin

    Very telling indeed…

  • Christelle

    @Frank… I agree with you on *In 50 years we will be studying how, once again, good people got something so wrong. * ie. slavery… We are definitely progressing in a positive way… but so much work must be done… 50 years from now we will look back and wonder how we ever allowed homosexuality to be called *sin*. 50 years from now we will have full marriage equality. 50 years from now our LGBTQ brothers and sisters will be viewed as equal in every sense of the word. TODAY, I will do my part to help make this happen sooner, rather than later… Human lives depend on it. and Frank, instead of stewing over how right you are… take a week long break from your ‘rightness’ and try meditating on the word LOVE. Simply picture LOVE in your head for 1 week. Hearts, Hugs, everything Happy and Peaceful… and then get back to us… or not.

  • Melody

    Don’t try to reason with Frank. He doesn’t want to grow or learn. Thinking is too difficult for fundies like him. Like you said, he just wants to hide in his preferred biased translation of the Bible and pretend he has all the answers.

    He’ll never change his mind; he’s too stubborn and blind.

  • Christelle

    agreed. i’m done. sigh…

  • Steve

    Oh, he is very explicit about where he stands, depending on the audience:


    Here you have him:

    * Advocating to get to youth as early as possible to prevent them from fully forming a gay identity, probably prevent them from getting support from other gay people and bring or keep them in the church instead

    *Using stereotypes of gay men

    *Saying that being gay is just about sex

    *Being evasive about saying that sexual orientation can be changed, because taking a clear stand would make them reject ex-gay therapy as being too hard

    *Scaring youth to not identify as gay by telling them that in 20 years they won’t be married (Jeez, and whose fault might that be?) and that they won’t have children (another lie)

  • DR

    I love how the Franks of the world lead with the. Hostile “poor and misguided” passive aggressive comments and then have the delusional bravado to imply someone *else* is being unloving when called on it. Stunning.

  • DR

    Frank apparently feels comfortable that Andrew is apologizing for Frank’s homophobic behavior! I don’t think “Frank” has any idea of what he is actually applauding, the irony of Frank is so delicious.

  • Melody

    Oh really…no wonder Frank has a hard-on for him.

  • Melody

    Well, of course. He thinks he’s perfect. That he’s always right and the world is wrong.

  • Steve

    Ok, here he at least he pretends to address the critics of that talk. It’s all extremely unconvincing though. Basically it boils down to him saying that he is a bad communicator. He is clearly in the wrong job then. In any case, I don’t buy his rationalizations for even a second.

  • Melody

    (You mean Frank, right?)

  • Lymis

    Exactly. When you go public at gay events wearing an “I’m sorry” shirt and apologizing to all gay people for the behavior of all Christians, and making a great deal of money off of it, you aren’ t allowed to pretend that “So, exactly what is you you are apologizing for?” is a trick question.

  • Diana A.

    Exactly. Thus my pet name for him: Legion.

  • Kelven

    What a bunch of horse manure. You just reinforced my point completely. You cherry pick the bible to justify your own shortcomings and your need to feel superior to others. You mention the commandments but still bear false witness. You are much more interested in removing the speck from teh homos eyes than removing the board from your own. You think you have the last word on what divine love is but that is really not your call.

  • Gordon

    Me too, Mindy. What’s weird in my life is that some members of my family actually accuse ME of rejecting THEM. How they do those mental gymnastics is a mystery to me. But, if you believe that being gay is a sin AND a choice (not sure which comes first), then you are rejecting me. If that’s your starting point, how can we have an honest, straightforward and productive conversation? I came out to my family more than 20 years ago. I have recently decided that I can no longer tolerate them supporting and voting for people who absolutely hate me. They have had more than enough time to learn and grow and they just refuse to do it. So, I completely understand why John Shore has a qualifier in his willingness to engage in a dialog with Mr. Marin.

  • Lawrence Petry

    Thanks for sharing Gordon. Those insights are helpful for me.

  • Lawrence Petry


  • Gordon

    Here I am agreeing with you again, Mindy! I don’t understand how people can attract followers and build churches and entire denominations with this doctrine, but they do.

  • Lawrence Petry

    I agree Melody, and glad to hear of such conversations, Allie. Those are powerful moments.

  • Is the purpose of life to identify & point out sin? That sounds like a job left to God. I thought it was our job only to love one another.

  • Gordon

    Michael: I really appreciate and honor you sharing some of your own story here. I too took a long time to accept my sexuality. When I finally accepted AND CELEBRATED who I really am, it was the most freeing experience imaginable. I hope that is/was your experience as well.

  • Mindy

    i have been dealing with a situation in real life that, while it has nothing to do with this topic, is currently in a very similar place. The person of whom a group of us are asking a question simply will. not. answer.

    Where is the group’s money? we ask. To which we receive a long-winded diatribe about how mean we are to ask. We’re sorry you feel that way, we say, but when will you drop off a check for the money so we can move forward? Long ramble about how since we are so mean, she will only talk to the person in charge – sent after 5 p.m. on the stated deadline. And so we ask once more – talk to whichever person you want, but deliver the money, please. No response.

    Well, that pretty much tells us all we need to know – even though we’ve already been told by said money-holder that we are pure evil for even insinuating such a thing. Methinks the chances of John getting a straight answer from Andrew are about the same as our group ever seeing that money again. :::::sigh:::::

  • Alan

    Uh, no I did not claim that anywhere. I’ve never written anything remotely like it, nor have I ever thought it. In fact, since I haven’t actually stated any of my own views about sin, Melody, why just make things up?

  • I had another thought while discussing Andrew and his Foundation with my Dad. His stated goal is to “build bridges”. My Father is an engineer. He asked me, what does he want to transport across this bridge he is attempting to build?

    Andrew stated himself (erroneously) that bridges cannot be built from one side. People do not live on bridges. Bridges are used to move people and goods from one point to another. What side of the bridge did Andrew come from? What and whom is he attemptin to move across his bridge?

    Is he not standing in the middle of this bridge and collecting a toll from both sides. His end game cannot result in peaceful communication or agreement between the two sides, for in doing to, they no longer have need of him or his “bridge”. The bridge exists for him to balance between two groups while inciting both side to dissension in the name of peace. Were peace and discussion to occur, he would lose his position and niche of influence, acclaim and finances.

    Andrew, have you ever explained what you are doing out on this bridge and what and whom you want to move across your bridge? The only individuals who I am familiar with who stand in the middle of bridges usually tend to jump off of them.

    With dire consequences, indeed.


  • Gordon

    Dude, just answer the damn question. Do you believe homosexuality is a sin? Yes or no. Honestly, we’re not interested in your Tweets and who may or may not have deleted what or responded to whom. Grow up, be a man and answer the f-ing question. I think we might accept an “I don’t know”, so that could be the “bridge” to get you out of the mess your ambiguity and obfuscation has created.

    I don’t blame John Shore for requiring an answer to this very simple, basic question before he will talk with you further. It is simple and basic, but it is also EXTREMELY important for someone who claims to love and serve LGBT people.

  • Steve

    The part about not being able to build bridges from one side struck me too. It’s perfectly possible from an engineering point of view and there are several ways to go about it.

    Btw, there was a time when people lived on some bridges. London Bridge in the middle ages for example:


  • 20 years is a long time to wait, Gordon… I’m so sorry. My family has been pretty awesome, but my church family was not. I fell in love there, with someone who was in leadership. We told them right away. They pulled us out of all service (oh, we could have cleaned the toilets, or maybe worked the food pantry, but no music, no small groups, no attending classes) and they pleaded with us over six grueling months to change our minds. I often wondered — if I had been able to stay in community there, would my presence have changed some hearts? I simply could not do it though. It hurt too much. And it likely would have ruined my new relationship. (which, today, is healthy and vibrant and joyful!)

    I love what Lymis has articulated several times in the comments here — we are being asked to set aside a piece of who we are, to set aside our integrity, to live in split reality. That’s not the same compromise at all as the one we are asking of those who believe gay sex is sin. We want them to be clear about where they stand. We have the right to that much protection from the wounds they can inflict on us, while claiming to love us.

    Is Andrew Marin (and McLaren, and for that matter, one of my former pastors who is starting another church, which chooses “welcoming” over “affirming…) doing some good by intentionally straddling the fence? Maybe. I get it. I do. But I also carry my own wounds, wounds opened by people who have been given a license to pass judgment on me by some preacher or christian or book who are repeating what they’ve been told about what the bible means and about what God thinks about homosexuality.

    (Sidenote: I believe that it’s easy for those who are afraid of their own sexuality–hetero or homo or bi or whatever–to adopt a sexually repressive, conservative belief, but that’s for a whole ‘nother discussion!)

    Bottom line, I can’t help but believe that IF EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO ISN’T SURE WHAT GOD THINKS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY SAID SO, the tide would turn a whole lot faster. It’s almost like we’re waiting for that “Yop” to break through to the monkeys who are chanting “boil that dustspeck!”. (Do you remember how quickly those monkeys stood down, how their anger melted?)

    I am exceedingly grateful for John Shore, for Jay Bakker, for all straight allies. I am wary of Andrew Marin, and the Campolos, and all those who are not clear about where they stand.

    And I am fierce about my right to choose the relationships I will invest my heart and time and love in.

  • Gordon

    I clicked on John’s link to the Dan Savage story. Here is one of the comments and it so perfectly captures and expresses my own views about the reconcilation that must happen between Christianity and homosexuals: “Yeah, we’re holding out for complete capitulation. When evangelicals are ready to admit that the bible got homosexuality wrong—just like it got slavery and shellfish and figs and masturbation and burnt offerings wrong—then we can talk. Until then: I’m not interested in accepting any hugs from “reformed” homophobes who still believe that being gay is a sin.”

    Damn, I wish I could write like that!

  • n.

    i was raised pretty weirdly, but one good idea out of it was that if you say you are sorry, you have to say *what* you are sorry for, or it isn’t a real apology. the reason is that part of repentance, or even apology, is articulating the actual offense committed. so i would like to know what is Mr Marin sorry for?

    – for the church believing/teaching that it’s a sin to be gay?

    – for church people being mean while believing/teaching that it’s a sin to be gay?

    – for his own past actions along the lines of the above?

    not if, but *when* i show up at a Pride parade with some kind of apology shirt, it’s going to be for all of those reasons. and i *have* to specify this to even start to make amends for my past mistakes. and i’m not any kind of christian leader.

  • Gordon

    “And I am fierce about my right to choose the relationships I will invest my heart and time and love in.” Beautiful! I think I’ll make that into a poster and put it on my wall.

    I think some people just can’t understand why the answer to the simple question, “Do you believe being gay is a sin?”, is so important. For people who have known me my entire life to say they love me and believe I chose to be gay and therefore sinful is beyond offensive. It’s unforgiveable.

    Yes, 20 years is long enough. I actually sent John’s book “Unfair” to my two brothers. Big brother number one wrote and told me he was offended and refused to read it. Poor baby. Big brother number two has a flair for the dramatic. He shredded the book and sent it back to me. Screw ’em! I’m done.

  • n.

    i would guess that they are usually built from the bottom (foundation) side, although i could be wrong.

  • he *shredded* it?!?!? Again, I’m so sorry.

    How is that behavior in any way life-giving? And these are usually the same people who compare us to murderers and adulterers and drug addicts and muslims. (That last comparison — a real one that I’ve been told more than once — gives a little more insight into the insular, arrogant, arbritrary, imperious nature of their belief.)

    My partner finally severed ties with some family members. She has never been so free and emotionally healthy. I wish the same for you!

  • Eva

    2 Timothy 2:23-25 “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,”

    I post this because, although I stand with you in fighting for the rights of the LGBT community, I find this post in your blog quite attacking and unedifying in speech. I also lift up this verse to others who post on your blog (there is a consistent group of people I’ve noticed) who quarrel in a spirit of anger and not love with those of different opinions (ie opposing LGBT rights) on the matter. And mind you, just because others attack our beliefs, it does not make it ok for us to do the same to theirs. Regardless of where we stand now, a lot of us started on the conservative side of the fence, we are not to judge the pace at which God works His truth into our lives; these people are still our brother and sisters in Christ, and we must edify in love, not argue in anger.

  • How does one determine what constitutes a foolish and ignorant dispute?

  • DR

    I understand this comment. It’s exactly what I would have written a few years ago, that Jesus spoke in nuanced terms, used stories and stayed away from the “triggering” language that caused people to turn away from HIm. I was totally invested in that until I got hit over the head with the damage hiding my own personal convictions in this kind of delusional thinking caused to others and to myself.

    Jesus knew the hearts of men. He instinctively knew the Truth about who was in front of Him, He knew exactly what each of us needed to hear uttered from His mouth because He knew the *specifics* of what we each cling to in order not to listen, not to obey. He knew it all – He knew us! And He explained His Father’s Kingdom in ways we could understand if we *chose* to. And we still killed Him, regardless of the clarity of Him delivering a message to people He knew and understood better than we know and understand ourselves.

    Andrew is operating within the delusion of “good intent”. He believes he can change the rules of ethical discourse and just stop short and saying anything declarative because he honestly believes that the Holy Spirit will work through passive half-truths. We’ve all enabled it as Christians. I’m bewildered as to how we as a church actually started selling cryptic, manipulative behavior as “bridge-building”.

  • n.

    i hope his shredder broke. if not, JOHN SHORE: PLEASE MAKE THICKER BOOKS.

  • n.

    heck, i had to do that and i’m straight.

  • hee!!

  • and hee!!!

  • Eva

    Lore, I do not think that that verse is talking solely about disputes that are only foolish and ignorant, perhaps that is why there is a period after that statement, and the word “And” to start the next sentence and teaching on the matter of sanctifying others in truth vs disputes? Regardless of how we label our disputes, there is no argument our greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love others, and to do all things in love. Marin may not be where we are at spiritually, but God is working in His heart, sanctifying him in truth, just as is for so many others.

  • Allie

    Her “asshole” shows way more love of Christ than your “poor, misguided.” Sometimes it’s not the words but what is meant by them.

  • Lyn

    I’d like to back up what Christelle said. You need to get personally, real-life involved with lgbt issues. There’ve been studies that have shown that people are much closer to sociopaths on Internet forums than they are in real life for the simple fact that the people behind the names and words and little user pictures are always on some level an abstraction. We simply lack the level of empathy we would have in a real life situation. Add to that the complete lack of tone of voice and body language and communication of a personal, relational, emotional level is simply never going to work as well online as it does face to face. So, go and talk to people. But do keep this rule in mind– it is not anyone’s job to be the spokesperson for all gay people/ lesbians/ trans* people/ intersex people/ pansexuals/ women/ blacks/ Latinos/ etc. They can only share their own experience. Likewise, no one is obligated to share their personal stuff with you, regardless of how nice you are when you ask. Enough folks have bad experiences with “well-meaning” questioners that they simply are not interested in sharing. We’re people with lives, not research subjects for every random person who decides they want our perspective. So be appreciative of those who are willing to talk and respectful of those who aren’t.

  • Gordon

    Thanks, Mindy. This severing process has been very interesting. And, it’s relatively easy because I live about 3,000 miles from my brothers. They probably won’t even notice unless I decide to tell them I’m out of their lives! But, the important thing for me has been severing the connection in my own mind. I find it interesting that I have had a couple of dreams with brother number two in them over the past couple of weeks. So, my subconscious mind is obviously chewing on this a bit. But I am very certain I have done the right thing for me, and I take great comfort in that. I found that very freeing as well.

  • Gordon

    I hope so too, n. Brother number two is a drama queen! LOL.

  • Gordon

    What does the Bible say about scolding admonishment?

  • Lymis

    At the same time, Frank can be okay with Andrew apologizing for Frank’s homophobia, because while it’s all warm and cuddly, it has no teeth. Andrew isn’t asking Frank to change his views, just to keep his condemnation polite.

    We, for our part, are supposed to agree that we’re okay being marginalized, condemned, harassed, and discriminated against, because they do it with a hug and a smile.

    And that’s compromise and progress. Phooey.

  • Lymis

    Of course it is – I invited God into the fabric of my life decades ago, and at no point has God demanded that I stop being gay.

    Inviting God into the fabric of someone’s life for the express purpose of not being gay any more is, in fact, focusing on the identity, not on God.

  • Eva

    I’m sorry, can you please elaborate on what you’re asking here? I don’t completely understand your point, please provide more detail about the point you are trying to make.

    As I interpret what you have written, it is my understanding that you find my post scolding and admonishing simultaneously towards John Shore. I don’t think I’m scolding at all, but rather sharing scriptures that I myself often struggle with in the fight for LGBT rights. Just as I would say, if my conscience so prodded, among friends at a coffee shop had our conversation turned negative and devisive, I say it here among brothers and sisters and friends as well.

    Our speech should not seek division.

  • Eva

    2 Timothy 2:23-25 has really been on my heart lately, because I myself struggle with quarreling, fighting and dividing within the body of Christ for what I know is right. Just as many of you, I have many friends who are conservatives, and every time I post something about LGBT rights, I get to hear their opinions on it as well. I really struggle with what those verses say about being gentle to all, able to teach, patient, and in humility correcting those who are in opposition. So I share this truth as I constantly struggle through it, not as I have mastered it and want to condemn others. There is no condemnation in the truths of scripture.

  • Melody

    I don’t just make things up. I surmise based on people’s words. You said yourself that it’s a sin to be human. That tells me a lot about your views on sin.

  • If any of you know me, of course I find this post/exchange very interesting. I am actually in Montana this week doing education, encouragement and, on Saturday, the action I do at many pride events–str8apology.

    This particular comment interests me–I have a civil engineering degree. I have designed bridges and waste treatment plants (and jokingly say I STILL use my degree trying to connect people every day in some fashion-man to man, man to God- and I deal with crap everyday too.)

    I was told by a wise older prophet years ago as he dragged me aside to pray for me. He did not want the general public to hear his encouragement of the work I do. It is still too controversial for some. He told me–“Be careful as you build bridges. You have a ten ton message for both the church and the gay community. Make sure that you lay a bridge than can handle the weight of that message.” Of course this made sense to me with my background.

    As I try to bring understanding in this issue, I make sure that I do relationship, listen, educate and stay kind. I have sat with leaders of Hate Groups, pastors, gay rights leaders–the whole run of this thing and I try to apply the same respect and humanity to each of them . DANG is it a challenge t one gracious to people that hurt people I love!!!

    Being an advocate means not only building a support in bridge, it also means being willing to stand like a sponge in front of people you love to absorb the poison intended for the ones you advocate for. If God has indeed called you to that place, you can handle it without getting poisoned.

    I am fully affirming to FULL equality for my glbt brothers and sister, in and out of Christ. It is my faith that COMPELS me to work for justice and equality. I center my life and work on Isaiah 58.

    Hopefully, by the end of the week here in MT, a few more hundred people will KNOW that they are beautiful creations, just the way they are, that God loves them and if they want to check Him out, the door is open. AND, they will also hear a VERY genuine “I am sorry for the destruction done in the Name of Jesus.”

  • n.

    some families leave voices inside your head that rival any hallucinations (i think?). it’s important to get those out, too… or at least to be able to get a word in edgewise with our own voices.

  • Lyn

    You do realise this is Paul of the “I wish the pro-circumcision people would just go all the way and cut it all off” writing, right? He’s not talking about church policies that are oppressive when he talks about foolish and ignorant disputes. Oppression is serious and not to be ignored. We are not to allow what we know to be good to be spoken of as evil. Lgbt people are being murdered, beaten, imprisoned, fired, not hired, denied housing, kicked out of their homes, beaten, knifed, set on fire, dragged behind trucks, bullied to despair and suicide, and driven from their relationship and love of Christ Jesus by the “it’s a sin” folks. It is NOT foolish and ignorant disputes to oppose that oppression. It’s what we’re called and empowered in Christ to do.

  • Eva

    I agree with you that what Paul writes is all about the context of who he was talking, I also understand and share your sentiment completely that we are to oppose oppression at all costs for the call of Christ, including oppression on the LGBT community. So where is the misunderstanding? Please understand the context of what I write as well.

    In 2 Timothy Paul is talking about division amongst the church, which is what I was responding to, and is what I was addressing, not how we should stand in the face of oppression. I also believe it is addressing two different types of disputes in vs 23-25. As I stated above in my response to Lore (which you may have missed or misunderstood) I do not think this is a foolish or ignorant dispute, but I think we should approach it with grace and gentleness, especially when amongst brothers and sisters of Christ. The first dispute was foolish and ignorant disputes which create strife. The sentence ends. Then he starts a new sentence, admonishing us not to quarrel but be gentle to all in regards to teaching the truths of Christ (not foolish and ignorant disputes). I think of Gandhi and Mother Theresa, who stood up in the face of opposition and oppression in humility, and taught peace with grace not anger and further hatred.

    So yes, whether stand directly in the face of our foes and in the midst of the battle for freedom for the LGBT community, or whether we are disputing among our brothers and sisters about what we believe is truth, it must all be seasoned with grace, patience, and love. We must do all things with love.

  • Eva

    Not once did I say this was a foolish or ignorant dispute, instead I have said the contrast. And I further support that Paul was referencing two different types of arguments in that he tells us to avoid one which leads to strife… and to pursue the other in peace and gentleness which leads to the sanctifying of the Truth. Regardless of whether you agree with Paul or not, if you follow Christ you cannot deny Christ, or His words that we must do all in love:

    John 13: 34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.”

  • Brena

    What part of deliberate offense such as murder and torture and rape is deleting the idea of sin?

    Plain and simple: If you read the actual original words in the OT and the NT you will not find punishment or shame attached to missing the mark. “The sin of being human” is a Christian church teaching and was not present before we had one. “By one man the culmination of missing the mark and being offensive entered the world and by one man and brought misery on all…” that is one of the rare cases when the idea of mistakes and offense is balled together and the result is physical death and/or misery. The “offense” in that portion of scripture is “misguided deed” “mistake.” We all dance in our own confusion and many, like Moses, find the grace of God. It was that Grace that Jesus came to give us.

    Like it or lump it, but the focus is on the Grace not the sin and they did a pretty good job of non-Inquisition style conversion in those days. Being saved because Grace is without fail available to us in spite of our weakness and often enhanced by our weakness is the Gospel and is Salvation. We are a punitive people and we like to confuse God with us. We make Him in our image and that is backwards. It is possible to do evil. Evil rejects salvation anyway. Salvation hinges on Grace and Grace is active when we try our most sincerely.

    The problem with salvation by Grace is that we don’t know who is better than whom. We don’t like that. When Jesus knelt with the immoral woman he did not speak to offense or mistake. He did not speak to righteousness. He spoke to their prison; the prison that held all of them. He gave them all permission to be free from having to be punishing to prove their worth or righteousness. Only real divine nature truly is not worried about human failings and mistakes. We have to get over our guilt addiction. That is the truly offensive part of human nature. When exactly did Adam and Eve admit fault and fall on God’s Grace? I don’t remember that part either. Continuing that pattern of ignoring Grace because we are at fault is the only thing that can separate us from God and that is an illusion we create.

    Now, if you want to lump human nature with serial killers, you are a fool. The desire to aim our life for the destruction of others is not naturally found in most humans even before they come to the knowledge of Grace.

  • Lawrence Petry

    i think he’s taking a stance of apology on behalf of the church.

    call it impersonal, call it not genuine.

    but he may be seeking to represent a different posture for the church in the eyes of the LGBT community.

  • Alan

    LOL That was the OTHER GUY, Andrew Chow, to which I specifically responded that he was “mistaken about the nature of sin.”

    So you didn’t make things up, you just didn’t read what I actually wrote. Scroll down and re-read more carefully. It is not a sin to be human, that’s just silly.

  • Lawrence Petry


  • DC

    graceful speech

  • DC



  • Michael

    Gordon, thank you for commenting. Yes, it has been very freeing. All of the internal turmoil for the past 30+ years has just settled and I am at peace.

  • Amy

    I’ve resisted inserting myself into this discussion, mostly because the good people here are a lot more articulate than I am and have already made the same points I would have, only better. But I have to comment on the failure to answer the question directly: Do you believe it’s a sin to be gay?

    I get it. There are heavy risks involved in making a clear stand. For a long time, even though I am firmly planted in the ally camp, I avoided saying it directly on my blog. But I realized I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by trying to be ambiguous. So I came clean, made it clear that I am an ally, that I don’t think being gay is a sin (in any sense, from one’s sexuality to one’s actual relationships), and that I support full and complete marriage equality. The minute I did that, my church’s leaders were all over me. I was told that while it’s not “essential” doctrine, it is “important.” As a “leader” myself who works with youth and children, I was in a position where I needed to “support” the church’s official position–that it is completely outside “God’s will” for anyone to act on any kind of “same-sex attraction” (a term used to marginalize people and refuse to acknowledge being gay as an inherent part of a person). I was told that I needed to “submit to the church’s authority” on the matter and that if I didn’t agree on such an important issue, that I would be best off attending another church with beliefs more similar to mine. Well, with three other people in my household, that’s not really an option. And unfortunately, I’m married to someone who doesn’t agree with me and still holds the “love the sinner, hate the sin” view, with no sign of changing his mind. (I’m not bad-mouthing my husband; I love him, but he’s wrong, LOL. I suspect he would feel differently if we were talking about one of our own kids, though, and I suspect that this may be an issue in the future–moms tend to know these things!) I also have the responsibility of contributing to the peace in my own home, so I can’t just pack up and attend a different church. In the end, I agreed that I would not speak to an underage child about my views without the child’s parent present, but I also made it clear that I wasn’t going to stop blogging and I wasn’t going to stop being an ally. I refuse to compromise my values just because someone doesn’t like what I have to say.

    In the end, it was important that I stop trying to play both sides of the fence. I know the Apostle Paul says that he “becomes all things to all people,” but I’m not sure he meant that to be applied to issues of personhood and respect to the value of every human. It’s important to know where to begin the dialogue.

  • DC

    seems some people think God is Hugh Hefner

  • Amy, you got the script! “against God’s will” … “same-sex attraction” (love your analysis of that one!) … “submit to authority” … “better off finding another church community”

    My church followed the same script too!! Funny, none of that’s in the Bible (well, “submit to authority” ok). They must share their notes!

    Seriously, recognizing the script helped give me the strength to stand/withstand the assault. It became clear that people were repeating what others had said, almost rote parrotting. Their words lost power to hurt me as much.

    Thanks for speaking out and being firm about continuing to do so on your blog. It looks like a nice blog, btw. 🙂

  • Christelle

    thank you, kathy.

  • Christelle

    thanks Lyn. while i wrote what i did i was thinking the same thing – noone is a research project for us to examine. we are all people. humanity. equal. worthy of real relationships. friendship. love. thank you for making this clear… (for some reason i can’t reply to your comment which is why i commented here)

  • Christelle

    oh- never mind- comment stands where it should…

  • Christelle

    me too. and friends.

  • Christelle

    Gordon and Mindy – thank you for being so vulnerable here at JohnShore.com… Though I’m straight, your words are healing for me and I’m sure many others… thank you.

  • DR

    Eva, there’s a huge difference between being “mean” and engaging in conflict aggressively. Those of you who find it productive policing the tone and manner by which others speak can certainly focus on that. But anger is an activating agent. Conflict is productive.

  • DR

    Eva there is a substantial amount of data on people who are volatile (I study this kind of thing in my profession).

    Those that lead with aggression and hostility actually get *worse* in the face who are gentle and kind. They escalate the anger, being gentle is intended to soften them but it only makes them angrier. That’s because the root of their hostility is rage and fear. They are out of control and unconsciously looking for someone who is stronger than they are who will move them back to the line they can’t help but cross. Treating bullies like bullies is the primary way bullies back down. They do not respond to reason, the reptilian parts of our brains that are fully engaged in those moments can’t respond to it. They can only respond to power.

  • DR

    That’s “love”! Stay unmarried, condemned by God and unholy but we’ll be very sweet to you and make sure you know how sorry we are when a Christian spits in your face or calls you “faggot” because of the permissive atmosphere of bigotry and oppression our actual theology causes (for which we’re not sorry at all).

    It’s so vulgar and evil how the Cross of Jesus Christ – how His sacrifice – has been diminished by Christians who use Him to fill their bottomless well of neurotic approval.

  • DR

    You are magnificent.

  • David S

    Amy. Thank you and God bless you. You inspire me with your boldness, integrity and grace.

  • Lyn

    First of all, Paul was infamous for run-on sentences. I can practically guarantee there’s no period there in the original Greek.

    Second, you’re apparently positing that standing up against oppression is somehow a separate action from taking part in church disputes. The oppression is happening *within* the church. Lgbt people are being told they’re not welcome, thus dividing the church. Those of us standing against the spiritual abuse these people are meting out are standing for unity– the unity of *all* who seek him, not just the select few.

    Neither Jesus Christ nor Paul nor John the Baptist nor James nor Peter answered softly and kindly when people used religion to oppress others. Jesus called the Pharisees sons of dogs and a brood of vipers and whited sepulchres and children of hell. Paul told the circumcision crowd to go emasculate themselves. They were not nice.

    If this were merely a doctrinal discussion, being kind and loving might have some place. But we’re talking about life and death here. We’re talking murders so brutal that seasoned police officers describe them as the worst they’ve ever seen, as if the murderer were trying to erase the victim completely from existence. We’re talking about thousands of teenagers kicked out of their homes, on the streets, surviving through panhandling or theft or prostitution, with very little hope of growing into a normal and productive adulthood. We’re talking children driven to despair and suicide, hospitalized for PTSD, due to the bullying they’re experiencing in school.

    We cannot stand around and wring our hands and politely ask these hang ’em from a white oak tree, pass laws to exterminate them, put them in concentration camps, ain’t gonna be any homos in heaven people and their silent enablers to get away with this in silence. You don’t walk up to a group of kids viciously kicking a kid into a bloody mess and ask them politely to stop. These are spiritual bullies and they are more vicious than that, because they have promised lgbt people that after a short life of misery and abuse at their hands, the lgbt person has nothing but eternal, unrelenting torment in the afterlife.

    I for one refuse to walk up to this group of bullies and ask them to please stop for a bit and then insist that the bloodied and dying victim should seek to bridge the gap of understanding with his tormentors.

    Calling for the extermination of lgbt people is not civilized behaviour. It’s silly to pretend it is.

  • Eva

    Lyn, whether there is a period there or not, which you only speculate but fail to actually prove, it does not negate that Paul is obviously talking about two different disputes, which I’ve clearly stated above. 1: Foolish ones which he says to avoid, and 2: those which sanctify the Truth of Christ which we are to approach with love and humility. One produces strife, the other is about truth. Period or not, the same thing is obviously being said.

    I do not understand why you feel the need to share with me on the injustice and oppression of the lgbt community. I was never disagreeing that such exists or that we are not to stand up for it- as I often do in the Gay Straight Alliance which I am a member of- and that is not the point of this particular post from John Shore. Is it something that Mr. Shore brings to light in all his posts collectively? Absolutely, and I love reading his posts for that reason. But in this blog post, which is of a dialogue between two brothers in Christ (as both profess to follow Him), it is not edifying to anyone. It is not written in love, but in strife.

    Yes you are right, Jesus does express righteous anger when he overturns the tables of the money changes in His temple, but more often He speaks with them as they talk to Him. As much as any of us may disagree with the ideas of Mr Marin, who are we to judge his heart and whether or not he is worthy of such indignation? Perhaps that is why Jesus commanded us to do all things in love. Our anger may be righteous, but to use it to justify hostility is clearly against scripture.

  • DR

    Why would you suggest that John is “seeking” division? Would you please copy and paste? He stated very clearly, the boundaries that set up the conversation he was willing to have, that Andrew needed to state clearly if homosexuality is a sin or not.

    You seem to be inserting such malicious intent in what was written, why are you doing that?

  • Eva

    DR, forgive me, I fail to see the point you are trying to make, as it seems to conflict with what I have written. I am merely encouraging positive discourse among believers, as it was written in scripture.

  • David S

    Eva –

    Yes. Well that’s a lovely thought and perhaps you are right to encourage me to be more patient and reasonable (i.e. loving). But you better believe I’m angry over the witch hunt of the religious right to root out homosexuals – “the worst of all possible sinners”. I’m angry as hell that *Christians* are creating a toxic atmosphere where it is OK to bully and abuse kids to the point that they give up on life itself. I’m outraged that, right now, some kid is sitting in a Pew and loathing himself – the person God created him to be – because the “other point of view I disagree with” is being spewed from the pulpit. I’m saddened that young people are leaving the Church in droves and, according to the Banna group, most closely identify Christians as “those anti gay people”. And this is happening in the name of Christ! IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW AT THIS VERY MINUTE! So forgive my lack of patience and forgive me if I’m angry. In my view, there is a difference between seeking understanding and foresaking justice for the sake of conciliation. I have faith that God is working in all of our lives. And as long as I have a voice, I’m going to stick up for that gay kid in the pew and pray that God uses me to help.

  • DR

    You’re taking such license in identifying what is on the mind and heart of those who express their anger directly. I’m kind of shocked by your assumption of such hostile, negative intent when it’s so clear that those who are here who are willing to actually get in the mud and not remain passive and meek are doing so out of courage, zeal and a deep love for gay men and women and a sorrow for what has been done to them in the name of Jesus.

  • DR

    No, what you’re doing is judging peoples’ intent by some language being used that is making you uncomfortable because from what you’ve told us, you struggle with conflict yourself. Those were your words.

    You are taking conflict and making it “mean” when it’s not. It’s conflict. Anger at stupidity, at harmful behavior sends a message to the victim that what has been done to them is WRONG. Period. And you’re trying to diminish that anger because your filter for conflict seems to only be set to people not raising their virtual voices.

    Many of us don’t, many of us feel quite comfortable with conflict. If you don’t, that’s ok, there are different temperaments and they all are valuable. But please stop projecting it on other people. People who’ve been victimized and abused often *need* to see others get angry on their behalf in order to heal.

  • DR

    Consider that you’re projecting your own issues onto others, Eva.

  • DR

    Eva, do you notice what you’ve done here? It’s not intended so know that I know that. But you’ve removed the *focus* from Andrew’s behavior to those who call him into accountability. You’ve now injected a substantial amount of noise into this dialogue that has nothing to do with the needs of the GLBT community and everything to do with what your comfort level is as a christian. It’s a very, very common thing that Christians do, we are not a community that handles conflict well so we start diverting energy into tone, speech, language, etc. being “kind” and while an innocent thing to do? It actually ends up letting guys like Andrew off the hook. He’s betting on that, he’s betting that the heat will be taken off of him. But what is really best for all of us is that we face the fire. We have to.

  • Eva

    Forgive me, I feel I’m repeating myself, so I’m jsut going to copy and paste and add lightly edit what I wrote earlier…

    I do not disagree that such justified anger exists or that we are not to stand up against injustices against the the LGBT community – as I often do in the Gay Straight Alliance which I am a member of- and that is also not the point of this particular post from John Shore. Is it something that Mr. Shore brings to light in all his posts collectively? Absolutely, and I love reading his posts for that reason. But in this blog particular post, which is of a dialogue between two brothers in Christ (as both profess to follow Him), it is not edifying to anyone. It is not written in love, but in strife. And it is that which I address.

    I NEVER said we are not to stick up for or protect anyone who is oppressed, which you insinuate otherwise. That takes what I have written out of context.

  • DR

    No it doesn’t take what you’ve written out of context at all. You’re telling people to manage this conflict and their own emotions according to your specific terms and if we don’t, then it’s somehow “seeking division” which is frankly, pretty crappy.

    It’s always so fascinating to me that people on the right are applauded for their “tough talk” and when those of us who are more liberally minded are equally assertive and at times, abrasive in the face of bullies who are totally unconscious of what they’re doing? Who need a verbal *slap* in the face to wake up? We’re the bad guys. What a conundrum.

  • Eva: If I were gay, I would feel that I wrote here is edifying to me. And I don’t have a problem with having a problem with people who contribute to the denigration of a entire class of people. You shouldn’t either.

  • Eva

    DR, I disagree with you. This is not about John Shore’s tone, speech, language etc, and it is not to drag him or anyone off topic, but rather back in focus. This post by John Shore does nothing to edify believers but divides. If you cannot see that, then so be it, we can agree to disagree.

  • DR

    I’m willing to give this comment and Andrew the benefit of the doubt. I’ve actually no doubt this is his intent. But once those in the LGBT community confirm that his position is actually *not* helping – *not* having the desired intent – and they’ve been telling this to him for years, by the way, exactly who is he continuing to serve?

  • Yes, because the periods and capitals are from the original manuscripts…

  • DR

    How in the world can you accurately discern and/or assess my love for Marin? You’ve no idea my feelings, thoughts or intentions toward this man.

  • Eva

    I’m not, I’m sharing what others had also pointed out in this article, please don’t mistake me opening my heart for projecting my issues. This is the last post of yours I will respond to, since you are coming off quite malicious yourself, and attempting to further more division.

  • DR

    I don’t care if you disagree with me and I won’t “agree to disagree”. This kind of decision on your part diminishes the dialogue, I’m done allowing those of you who are more focused on scolding very brave, devoted people like John who are taking hits over and over again from creepy, hostile, mentally ill homophobes because it makes you uncomfortable. Done with it.

  • Eva

    No, I’m only sharing scripture, within context.

  • DR

    You are *using* Scripture to make this entire dialogue about *your* comfort level with conflict. And you’ve yet to actually demonstrate using anyone’s actual words how we are “seeking division”. What a crappy, gross suggestion that was.

    OK, I’ve had enough. This is some seriously crazy behavior.

  • Lola

    DR, I am having a hard time seeing where Eva is making the conflict a “mean” one. I for one appreciate her voice, a calm and unoffending one at that , while you are attacking her specifically. In every attempt she makes for open, encouraging discourse, you disregard the offer in preference to petty name calling.

  • DR

    It’s always the “Mr. Shore” thing that’s a dead giveaway. When am I going to learn?

  • Indeed, John. I found this quite affirming. We have a Canadian Andrew Marin, so to speak, who I’ve had a run-in with, who made things very difficult for me, with a lot of affirming Christians unwilling to take a stand – willing to compromise my security and welcomedness and for all those like me because it was uncomfortable for them to say anything. And I was hurt, and pissed, and partly left a church I loved, heartbroken, over it. I need from time to time to hear people call a spade a spade on the Andrew Marins of the world, to know they will be opposd, and to let me know I’m not alone in finding this unacceptable.

    So, thank you for this, very much. Don’t ever be silenced in standing up for the oppressed.

  • Eva – John is doing a beautiful thing for me (and I assume others) that you don’t understand. Butt out. Stop creating new conflicts – because I (and I assume others) are going to start finding this foolish, ignorant dispute you’ve started very annoying.

  • Yes. Thank you. Apologies should come from reprentence – a desire to do differently – but differently from what? I don’t accept apologies when I do not know what they are for. How can you know if there is repentence if the person doesn’t even acknowledge their mistake?

    Apologies also need to be on behalf of people who are actually sorry. Apologies on behelf of the entire church – much of which still persecutes – is not out of repretence and is just insulting. Although, apologizing “for” doesn’t always mean “on behalf of”.

  • As someone who defended having the Exodus leaders speak at an LBGT conference, with great harm done to many in attendence and justified only by what good might come of it *for the leader of Exodus* – I have to say that you are the among the people who make me no longer trust such talk. I am leery of any “bridge building,” as you describe it, because, by NOT preferencing the oppressed, by treating all equality, you by default give the advantage to those who already have the power. I can’t help but be suspicious that I may be crushed by that ten-ton message.

    I just want you to know that it is people like you that I see causing bridges to be burned all around me because of the hurt and distrust it spawns – so much worse, because this “approach” earns much trust before it is so painfully lost.

    Maybe, after all the hugging is over, your bridge does just transport crap from one side to the other.

  • Next he’ll tell you he’s only modelling Paul’s all things to all people approach… I’ve heard that one. You know, that biblical principle of misleading all the people all the time.

    This is what “bridge building” has become code for. Run like hell.

  • Cat Rennolds

    Eva, I love my children very much. And I am gentle and kind with them as much as I can be….when it is good for them. When they have a hard lesson to learn that they do not want to learn, I am perfectly willing to raise my voice, give a spanking, remove privileges, scold harshly….not in anger, not to abuse them, never to damage or injure them, but because I love them. I will do whatever it takes to make sure they learn what they need to know to survive and take care of themselves and be functioning adults. that’s my job as a mom.

    Does the body of Christ do less for its members? Andrew Marin is not a child, and he has volunteered for this dialogue. In love, John can offer him no less than the truth.

  • And making people more comfotable in and better able to defend their ignorance is helpful how…??

  • I knew someone who would say in private that gay wasn’t sin but that she needed to keep being ambiguous until she could wait out a (hoped for) board change in the organization she headed before she could say so publically, so they might oust her. In the meantime, she’d keep “building bridges” (and if the board went a different way who there’ll be all the more people at risk…) and so I should stop criticizing her and get on her side in public because I was privately getting the inside scoop.

    I’m sure she meant it. That’s the makes-your-skin-crawl part.

  • Oh yeah, and in the the meantime, the organization kept up a secret ex-gay branch – you know, so that they didn’t alienate their supporters…

  • The oppresed are not supposed to learn to get along.

  • Mindy

    Eva, I am coming into this exchange late, but I’d like to point something out. You are saying that John’s post – which is an effort to get a straightforward declaration from a man who claims to be “bridge-building,” is divisive, and I say you are wrong – JOHN is not divisive, because he is asking only for clarification. He is asking for Christians NOT to be able to pretend they support LGBT people if they really don’t.

    The straightforward declaration is important, because the issue of LGBT people being accepted as Christians and by Christians is not going to go away, and people like Andrew Marin do nothing to move it forward. Instead, he gives the issue a place to stagnate, a place where Christians who don’t want to be bothered with LGBT issues, or who deep-down still believe they are sinful, can go and feel better about themselves. He does NOTHING for LGBT people if he is not teaching that their monogamous love for one another is no more sinful than mine was for my husband.

    So he continues the divisiveness of old teachings under the guise of playing nice together. Sure, that’s better than bullying, but it is miles from loving acceptance, and he needs to be called out on it. John did a good thing here, and hopefully people who have been fooled by Marin can read this and see more clearly what is really going on. He is a charlatan, making money off of both sides, and that is pretty sickening.

  • Melody

    Christine, maybe you haven’t seen John’s posts about his interactions with Kathy about her work. I understand your frustration, but since when is it wrong to apologize for the cruelty done to the LGBT community in the name of Christianity? She does good by showing those jaded by Christianity that there are Christians who love the LGBT community and support equal rights for all. People can stand up and support the oppressed in more ways than simply screaming, “Stop believing homosexuality is a sin.” Kathy is a hero, and John would be the first to tell you that. I’m sorry you don’t see that.

  • Mindy

    Yes. What Christine said. I get really tired of having to follow someone else’s rules for discourse when I feel passionately about something and refuse to back down in a disagreement. I just had this happen in a spirited discussion about LGBT rights with a group of vocal Christian and Catholic anti-gay folks. They were all about “loving the sinner but not the sin,” and could not see why that was unacceptable. Could not understand why all LGBT people can’t just be celibate. I didn’t swear at them, I didn’t yell at them. I called their views bigotry and they took great offense at this. I told them that I could totally understand that being called out for bigoted behavior would feel uncomfortable, but that in order to feel better, they didn’t need me to apologize or take it back, they needed to reexamine and hopefully, eventually, change their own beliefs and behaviors. And then the conversation just became all about how they were picked on and I was a big fat meanie -pants, and it was utterly and completely ridiculous. They were so worried about their own discomfort that not for one second could they consider the feelings of all the LGBT people they were hurting with their words.

  • Cat Rennolds

    I’m qualified to teach English but I’m VERY bad at texting and have an ancient phone, so I use the “code”. Sometimes when I have a toddler on one arm and a cat in my lap I do it on the Net too.

    Grammar Paladin: Points out when bad English becomes incomprehensible. Knows the difference between formal standard and informal colloquial.

    Grammar Nazi: Ignores message because of form.

  • Daniel

    Thank you, John, for bringing Marin’s reluctance to state his position to our attention. Indeed, I should think it to be be a rather easy question for someone who is busy launching an initiative to assist Christian parents of gay children to answer.

    Reading his “Calling All Parents” blog entry, you might come away with the impression that he is loving and supportive of LGBT people and their families. But if he is unwilling to go on record as to what his beliefs truly are, I suspect the kind of “support” being offered by his so-called “Parent Resource Initiative” is more of the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” variety.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  • Christelle

    Oh come on… Eva… if you’ve taken an ancient hebrew/greek class, you know that we’ve completely changed the original writings all together… For example… the original writings of the old testament (not even modern hebrew, but rather an ancient hebrew form) you know that not only was it written from right to left, but also left out vowels, spaces, and punctuation… The writings were also written in poetry and song-form as had been passed down verbally for generations… As for the New Testament, though I’ve taken less classes on the subject… Lyn is correct in stating that punctuation was not added until much later, by editors and translaters as they best understood the context… BUT – honestly – I’m barely covering the very basics of ancient literature – we really can NOT argue ANYTHING based on the placement of a period within the scriptures.

  • Melody

    I stand corrected; for some reason I processed “Andrew Chow” as “Alan.” Sorry about the confusion and for giving you a hard time. (I do thnk I understand Calvinism better than Andrew understands human nature, having Calvinist relatives and all, but that’s another discussion for another time.) Thanks for setting me straight.

  • Christelle

    ***rewrite: For example… the original writings of the old testament (not even modern hebrew, but rather an ancient hebrew form) were written from right to left, but also left out vowels, spaces, and punctuation…***

  • Christelle

    oh my word… that wasn’t even correct… anywho… i think you grasp what I’m trying to say… HA! and perhaps I’m proving my own point in some strange way… LOL

  • I hope you know Christine that I do three major things at Pride–Listen and apologize, direct people to faith communities that are welcoming and point people to resources that will help them reconcile faith and orientation. These are the three main things most people seem to want that talk to me. Of course, if there is NO interest in faith–I DO NOT GO THERE.

    I can understand that everyone cannot agree on the “hows” of this. For the actions I am involved in, I do see the benefits. If we each do what we are entrusted to do, the combination will get us to the goal–equality.

  • DR

    Wow. You really have zero idea of Kathy at all.

  • DR

    You certainly can’t win for trying, my friend.

  • DR

    I didn’t say she was, Lola. She is *confusing* being “mean” with “being in conflict. Please read carefully. And I’m *countering* her posture and the way that she’s engaging people here and also, the way she’s inserting a lot of intent into many of the comments here that she could not possibly have. Not her personally. It’s so fascinating that you’d use the word “attack”.

  • Christelle

    Christine, I HIGHLY encourage you to go over to Kathy’s website or FB. I think you will be surprised. She is a brave warrior on behalf of many…

  • DR

    Eva, you decided what was true about everyone else before you even started engaging us. I’d think twice about who was being “aggressive”.

    In terms of being divisive? Jesus said quite clearly that Truth often divides. That being said, your rather myopic focus that those of us are actually *seeking* to divide people from one another is just unbelievably creepy. It really is, I’m glad you were honest with us and I’m sure your intent was well-meaning but I think in the morning when you reread all of this, you’ll see what some of us were trying to communicate. At least I hope so.

  • DR

    Exactly this.

  • DR

    I didn’t finish my thought. I’m a fan of gentle people! Everyone has their temperament and their gifts. I think she’s probably an awfully sweet woman who’s well-meaning. But if you can’t handle this level of dialogue,, it’s wise not to engage. Conflict is very difficult and when peoples’ lives are at stake – when peoples’ civil rights are at stake? A “nice exchange of ideas” does not move the needle historically, it never has. These are bloody, awful battles where people get hurt. But sometimes being hurt, being offended is EXACTLY what we need to wake up.

  • Jeannie

    I have tried to ask this question before, let me try again. Help me to understand why the church should view gay fornication any differently then straight fornication. Most Christians teach that any sex outside of matrimony is sin. They also teach that all gay sex is wrong. The answer to many if not most Christians to this controvery is that it is not a sin to be gay. We are what we are. But it is a sin to have sex. If this gentlman holds that opinion then he is in the company of almost all the other American evangelical and mainline Christian community.

    I am not saying I feel this way. I don’t know how I feel about the whole sex question. I came up in an extremely conservative version of Christianity where young men and women didn’t even hold hands until they were engaged and didn’t kiss until they were married. I am not there any more. And I am too busy with all the other areas of my life to even consider getting married much more having a sexual relationship again. BUT, I am trying to see what the difference is between expecting a straight person to remain a virgin forever, unless they get married and expecting a gay person to remain a virgin forever. Help me to see what I am missing here.

  • Daniel

    “I am trying to see what the difference is between expecting a straight person to remain a virgin forever, unless they get married and expecting a gay person to remain a virgin forever. Help me to see what I am missing here.”

    You honestly can’t see the difference? Truly? I can’t help but feel as if you’ve already partially answered your own question. In your example, a straight person has the *option* to get married and have a loving and physically intimate relationship at some point, whereas gay people are expected to simply remain virgins until they die. No exceptions. No options.

    Just turn the question around on yourself. How would you feel if you knew you were expected to remain a virgin forever without even the CHANCE to meeting someone, falling in love, getting married, and having an intimate relationship with them?

  • vj

    Oh Lyn, you are absolutely awesome!

  • vj


  • vj

    “believes that the Holy Spirit will work through passive half-truths”

    And yet, Jesus tells us that it is knowing the Truth that sets us free! I think you’ve hit on something really key here, DR… If I have cancer, I want my doctors to tell me *exactly* what’s wrong with me. And if bigotry in the name of Jesus is a spiritual cancer, it follows that I need to be told *exactly* what’s wrong. As you have alluded to elsewhere, we need to get over our knee-jerk conflict avoidance in order to present people with real truth, not warm and fuzzy half-truths. Being warm and fuzzy towards an alcoholic doesn’t help them, and neither does beating around the bush when it comes to confronting bigotry.

  • vj

    That’s the feeling I got while reading his comment, as well – why SO MANY words?!

  • vj


    THAT’S the word I was looking for when I read his comment!

  • vj

    Thanks for sharing this, Amy, it was very helpful!

  • vj

    Don, n. & Lymis – you guys have encapsulated this whole thing perfectly 🙂

  • vj

    This is so true – and applies equally to any combination of oppressed and oppressor. South Africa is going thru this now, as the current and previously disadvantaged communities struggle to come together in a peaceful, united nation while also dealing with decades (centuries?) of entrenched privilege… It’s so easy for the powerful to think ‘problem solved’, without realizing that the disempowered are not yet fully satisfied. The goal of equality and acceptance is only achieved when the previously marginalized say so.

  • vj

    John has stated his opening position. How can there be a debate if Marin won’t do likewise?

  • David S

    Eva. Where are all of the patient, graceful Christian voices publicly countering the vile hate being spewed by prominent brothers in Christ like rising celeb preacher Ken Hutcherson, or the old guard like Piper and Mohler, or the oh so jolly Timothy Dolan. I totally get what you are saying, and your efforts through the GSA are to be commended. But don’t confuse bold demands for accountability with a lack of humbleness or un-Biblical division. Perhaps a dose of righteous anger is just what the doctor ordered to heal the body of Christ.

  • Gordon

    It’s fascinating to me, Eva, that you’ve actually done a really good job of CREATING a foolish dispute here. Our speech should not seek division, huh? Right. To be clear, yes. I found the tone and intent of your original post scolding. I can’t stand scolders. They piss me off. I also don’t like it when people use a bunch of sanctimonious clap-trap language to disguise themselves and their intentions. I think a professional would call that passive-aggressive.

  • Gordon

    Here is the definition of fornication from Dictionary.com:

    Voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.

    If you are prevented from getting married, the only way to avoid the “sin” of fornication is to be celebate. This is completely illogical.

    I met my husband in San Francisco in 1991. We dated, we fell in love and in February 1992 we had what people back then called a “commitment ceremony”. It was beautiful and God was present. In August of 2008 we were legally married in Beverly Hills. Were we fornicating between 1992 and 2008? Uh…no.

    I agree with Daniel. I think you know the answer to your question and you’re struggling with it for some reason.

  • Erin D.

    Jesus knocked over tables in the temple when he could no longer stand the hypocracy. Was that “positive discourse”? Lol.

  • Jeannie

    Perhaps the reason I struggle with this is because I was expected to remain a virgin forever. I am disabled. The chances of someone marrying me were, well, remote at best. Especially because in my flavor of Christianity we were supposed to marry withinn our own church, or at least our own small group of churches. I pretty much had zero hope of that. And I lived with the idea that I would remain a virgin forever for decades. I see no difference between the cruelty I experienced in the church as a straight woman and the cruelty gay people experience from the same evangelical churches.

    Most of us who frequent this page have moved beyond a “God said it that settles it” very narrow interpretation of the Bible. But if a person operates in that paradigm, then it is not surprising that they expect a kind of strict adherence to literal iterpretation of scripture. That literal interpretation is the problem. And it is rampant in most churches in America. And I don’t think they are moving past that anytime soon.

  • Lyn

    I think you’re missing a couple of things here. One is the idea that marriage is only the legal institution, but that legal institution is relatively new, historically. There is nothing inherent in the legal document that makes or sanctifies a marriage. The legal document only serves as the government acknowledgement of marriage and the assignment of rights and responsibilities thereof.

    But it’s silly to insist that if the government doesn’t recognize a marriage, that it doesn’t exist. In the days of slavery, slave marriages weren’t legally recognized. Would you argue that millions of slaves spent their entire adult lives in sinful fornication?

    Similarly, up until Loving v Virginia, interracial marriages were not recognized in some states. But just because Virginia didn’t recognize the Lovings’ marriage doesn’t mean they weren’t married and were committing fornication.

    There have been same-sex marriages for as long as LGBTQIA people have existed, whether their government or society recognized them as such or not. To dismiss their commitments and covenants merely because the government or society at the time does not or did not cede them the same respect as the approved marriages is completely illogical.

    Now, obviously, there is such a thing as fornication in the gay community– people who have brief flings, one-night stands, cheat on their committed partners, or get to the sex before they get to the commitment– just as there are among straight people, but to define *all* gay sex as fornication is doing a grave disservice to an already-oppressed people. Just because they are denied the legal protections of governmental recognition doesn’t make what they’re doing a sin.

    And, for the record, nowhere in the Bible does it teach that gay sex is a sin. We made that up to justify our prejudice, but a study of the scriptures will reveal that it’s simply unsupported.

  • DR

    Hi Jeannie,

    A lot of people are now questioning if we’ve got the entire thing wrong. There are a number of posts John’s written on this that help to explain that. The essential premise is God would never create a “sin” from which someone could never escape.

  • Lyn

    No, I can’t agree. Andrew Marin is enabling bullies to continue their bullying if he refuses to speak the truth, if he allows good to be spoken of as evil. Anyone who stands by in silence and allows others to be maimed, killed, banished for their homes, and denied membership in the body of Christ has blood on their hands.

    John is asking Marin to do the Christian thing– to be honest and clear in his intentions. That’s not divisive. Allowing people to go around lying for Christ– and that’s exactly what it is– is not speaking the truth at all, let alone in love.

    That you would rather allow Christians to practice deception in the name of Christ in order to maintain some misguided idea of unity is repulsive. Nowhere in scripture do you see such deception being permissible. Ananias and Saphira lie about how generous they are being? Oh, that’s okay! We wouldn’t want to cause disunity in the church! Peter wants to go back on his commitment to gentile Christians and only associate with Jewish Christians and keep kosher? Yeah, let’s not bother about calling him on that. The circumcision crowd is insisting those who don’t convert to Judaism first aren’t real Christians? Don’t worry! The Gentiles will get over it! Unity is more important!

    Nope, nope, nope. Either Christ’s grace is open to whosoever or his grace is a sham. Those who deny his grace to the LGBTQIA community are being divisive, not those of us wanting to welcome them into the church. Those like Marin who want to enable the continued spiritual abuse of LGBTQIA people are also divisive.

    Asking Marin to stand for unity is NOT divisive.

  • Lyn

    I try!

  • Daniel

    Jeannie, your post broke my heart.

    The idea that you, as a disabled person, were basically forced to give up almost any hope of finding love in order to obey the closed-minded expectations of your church is terrible beyond words.

    I am glad that you were able to move beyond those imposed restrictions. Those kinds of belief systems place stodgy adherence to dogma above the health and happiness of their believers. You definitely deserved better than that.

  • HJ

    I love this! The entire idea of “marriage” needs an overhaul. There are two pieces. The slip of paper from the state, granting rights, and a giant ceremony (which some folks chose not to even have) which is the wedding or the ‘getting’ part of married. Any two legal adults should have the right to be legally bound. Before we even step into equality, we should have fixed the premise of “marriage”.

  • n.

    yes but for Which Part? it’s seriously important.

  • n.

    when Kathy Baldock does her #str8apology campaign and when those college kids go with “I aPoloGize for These chRistians” signs, they are *for real* and they know and say *what* they are apologizing for (even if they aren’t allowed to be On Behalf Of because many church people don’t agree with them)

    (i think this is an example of what you mean?)

  • As a person who is disabled, you are among a disadvantaged, persecuted, maligned group – especially in the church – just like the LBGT community. No, what was done to you is no worse – but we should all hope that such expectations are never made of anyone.

    I agree people aren’t going to stop claiming they have a literal view of scripture any time soon. But most still managed to move past issues with condoning slavery, making women silent and submissive, and allowing divorce. Becuase sometimes it isn’t the literalness that is the problem – it’s the prejudices that are brought to it.

  • Drew M.


    Very well said, DR!

  • Jeannie

    Thanks all. Your comments have helped. There is a relationship between the two marginalized, maligned groups. My cerebral palsy was often claimed to be the result of sin. My lack of healing was proof of my continued sin. I identify greatly with people who have PTSD because of official Christianity. Trying to be part of the American church if you don’t fit into very narrow specifications can be a confusing experience.

  • Lawrence Petry

    Gordon, this is a good (and challenging) point.

  • The “I aPoloGize” signs were what I had in mind when I added that last part. To me, that is sincere, and the “for” has a different flavour than simply “on behalf of”. I haven’t see str8apology in action, but I’m uncertain about the whole showing up at Pride thing generally. Anyways, I get what you mean.

  • Yes, I have read John’s post. I learned of Kathy here on John’s site. I’ve posted about this here before. It isn’t the str8apology I’m taking issue with here.

  • I’m not talking about what you do at Pride. I said absolutely nothing about that in my comment. I was talking about Alan Chambers at the GCN conference. After your defense of it, I can’t trust your judgement in this area.

  • I’ve been through it with a fine-toothed comb. Looked good at first. Then it didn’t. It’s why I said what I did.

  • Carlotta

    I have a couple of questions for any of you. Most of you who post here are against the view that “God said it” to what you consider a narrow view of homosexuality. The bible is clear to many of us who accept His word that homosexuality is a sin (very plain through many Old and New Testament scriptures) and even Jesus Himself defines marriage as it was in the beginning, male and female. (Matt 19:3-5)

    So the questions are: 1) if God “has said it” regarding other tenants of our faith, (salvation, heaven, hell, relationships, cursing, stealing, murder and what have you) why can’t God speak the same regarding homosexuality? 2) Is it remotely possible in your minds that homosexuality CAN BE considered a sin by God?

    I’m not trying to start any strife are arguments here, but sincerely would like your opinions regarding these questions.

  • Carlotta

    Thank you for your response John. I’m glad in that blog post you did share the “clobber” New Testament verses that Christians use to point homosexuality as a sin. You gave your readers the choice to use their own minds in accepting God’s word as it is written or your explanation of why homosexuality isn’t really a sin.

    There must not be an ounce of doubt that what one chooses to do as it is either for God or against Him. I have no doubt by God’s word that homosexuality isn’t God’s chosen way for us to express our love in sex and relationships. And contrary to what you say, the bible IS our rulebook in how to live! Every designer has a manual to operate their design. The bible is God’s manual for His creation called mankind. Ignore it and deadly consequences can follow!

    So either you love Jesus or you hate Him. Our Lord knows who loves Him by our obedience. So please, everyone make sure of what the bible says regarding sin!

    Jesus speaking:
    “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15
    “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” John 15:14

  • Gordon

    I feel very sorry for people who believe the Bible is some sort of instruction manual about how to live. The reality is that it is a collection of historical writings accumulated over centuries. In that time it has been twisted and manipulated for the various powers of various times. To assume it is the very WORD OF GOD is ignorant and childish. Sorry if that hurts anyone’s feelings, but that’s what I believe.

    If you really want to hear the word of God, just be still. Be silent. He can speak for Himself/Herself.

  • Melody

    Honey…who told you the Bible is God’s rulebook that tells us exactly how to live our lives? Did a billboard tell you that? I almost feel sorry for your gullibility and naivete in thinking the Bible is the magic book of morals that applies to everyone, everywhere, for all time. I know you don’t follow all the rules. Do you eat pork and shellfish? Do you wear mixed fabrics? Then you’re living in sin, according to your idealistic views.

    You can’t prove the Bible is God’s word, not even by quoting 2 Timothy 3:16. You clearly haven’t educated yourself about the history and canonization of the Bible, and you are woefully ignorant of the original languages. Your version of the Bible is a deliberate mistranslation, since no one knows what the original Greek for what is commonly translated as “homosexual” really means. I’ll bet you also didn’t know that the word “homosexual” didn’t originate until the late 19tg century, due to Freud’s theory on sexuality. I don’t pity you or anyone else who is called out for a complete misunderstanding of the Bible and sexuality. You have a lot to learn before even trying to engage here, because of your lack of wisdom and knowledge. Know of which you speak before you try to argue with those who have experience and education much higher than your own.

  • Carlotta

    The bible even claims of itself for being this manual for us in how to live:

    “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    Just thought I’d share that in case anyone else wants to make their own decision to follow the bible or non-biblical sources that speak contrary to it.

  • Melody

    So you ignored my comment. How convenient for your ignorance of the fact that the even the Hebrew Bible wasn’t finalized when your favorite proof text was written. Further evidence that you know nothing about which you speak.

  • Carlotta

    Melody, you assume incorrectly. I have studied the history and canonization of the bible which I won’t debate here because as a child, the bible meant a lot to me and was very believable. As an adult it makes even more sense to me now. Either you have the faith to believe it or not and no amount of scholarly debate will convince anyone if they choose to reject God and His word!

    I’ve chosen to be foolish according to the world’s standards but wise to God’s! So do feel free Melody to call me a fool for believing in that “silly” bible.

    “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; 1 Corinthians 3:17-19

  • “There must not be an ounce of doubt that what one chooses to do as it is either for God or against Him.” … and … “So either you love Jesus or you hate Him.”

    I do not believe that kind of black and white thinking is life-giving. It’s actually not really possible, not for a human mind rooted in perception/experiences. A computer, maybe. Such (attempt at) rigidity erects walls around one’s heart and between people. It closes doors to wonder. It creates conflict inside a person, and gives birth to arrogance.

    I cannot help but wonder why Jesus spoke in parables, if “truth” is so black and white.

    Where does love reside in your belief/interpretation, Carlotta?

    Me, I dance with joy to choose freedom and wonder. 🙂

  • Carlotta

    Mindy, I won’t continue in the discussion here because I promised I wouldn’t argue and be strifeful as well. I’ve asked the questions I wanted to ask and made the points I wanted to make.

    So in Christ’s love I leave here and pray that you all truly do love Jesus Christ in word and in deed!

  • DR

    Of course you’re leaving with a passive-aggressive shot in implying that those of us here “truly” love Jesus Christ. Stunning. The cowardice of those of you who claim you have the “real Biblical Truth”, choose to comment, when you get countered refuse to “debate” and then flounce off in an injured huff because you waded into too deep of water you’re not willing to swim in reveals far more about you than anyone else here.

    Next time, realize you’re going to be a student just as much as you’re going to be a teacher.

  • Melody

    Well, this comment illustrates the fact that you don’t want to think, much less learn. You know God gave you a brain so you could use it, right? Instead, you use a book to justify your bigotry and willful ignorance. Anyway, I’m done trying to get you to ask questions or think for yourself. Keep digging your hole, and keep your blind, mindless faith. I, in the meantime, will follow Jesus by fighting for LGBT rights against legalistic bigots like you. You get no sympathy from me or any other intelligent reader here.

  • DR

    John has never remotely suggested that the Bible isn’t a rulebook by which to live. He does not live by the smattering of scripture regarding homosexuality that’s been twisted beyond all recognition by people you choose to put your trust in. That’s it. Stop implying those who are willing to compare the entirety of Scripture against these few, horribly translated verses as someone who throws out the Bible entirely. It’s manipulative. Have the conversation on terms that everyone shares or don’t have it at all.

  • DR

    And that wasn’t the name you used last time (I remember you and your blog post on Aiesha). Why do those of you who keep professing you have the “real Jesus” keep creating fake names, announcing you’ll never come back to the blog and then come back under a new identity??

  • Melody

    Oh, almost forgot. You’re also a coward, since you don’t want to ask yourself whether you might be wrong about this. That’s doesn’t account for much faith, if you think you’re got all the answers. You are pathetic. I pray that God keeps you away from gay people, especially from having gay children, until you’re ready to use your brain properly.

  • Lymis

    ” There must not be an ounce of doubt that what one chooses to do as it is either for God or against Him. I have no doubt by God’s word that homosexuality isn’t God’s chosen way for us to express our love in sex and relationships.”

    Oh phooey. Show me anyone who claims not to have “an ounce” of doubt about anything they consider an important moral issue and I will show you a liar or a fool. Period. Read the writings of Christianity’s greatest voices, from Paul to Augustine to Francis to all the various Theresas, and what you find is an endless exploration of their own doubts and failings, coupled with a trust that God will help them through it. There is no voice in Christian history that claims that moral certainty is a prerequisite for salvation. Even Jesus is famous for hanging out with sinners.

    Show me someone who claims absolute certainty about how other people are supposed to live, and cast the lives and challenges of those whose circumstances they don’t share as black and white, and I’ll show you a bigot. Show me someone who does it unsolicited, and I’ll show you a bigot with an agenda.

    I don’t have a moral relationship with a book. I have a live and ongoing relationship with a living God who speaks in my heart and my mind and who, by his own admission, presents Himself daily to me in the form of those human beings around me and invites me to express my relationship to God in the form of how I behave toward my fellow humans.

    You are absolutely free – in fact, morally obligated – to discover for yourself what God’s chosen way for you to express love in sex and relationships is, and are free to use whatever source material you speaks to you in God’s voice. You don’t get a vote on God’s plan for mine.

    If you think that the Bible is an operating manual for humanity, then you haven’t read it.

  • Lymis

    There is the third piece, which is the commitment of the two people involved. Without that, you can have all the paper and all the ceremonies in the world, and all you have is piece of paper and a party to clean up after, and some pesky legal entanglements.

  • “you don’t get to vote on God’s plan for _*mine*_”

    Love it!

  • hey, how do you do quotes and bold/italics?

  • n.

    all of us who aren’t fluent in ancient Hebrew and Greek haven’t actually read “God’s word as it is written” (and that’s still making the very big assumption that we even have access to the exact words the way God intended them to be written down) and have to believe scholars who tell us what the old words in the originals meant. well, scholars do not *agree* on what “God’s word as it is written” even means, or even what kinds of sexual acts are described in those passages. with that kind of uncertainty, i don’t see how anyone can “have no doubt”. it sure took the certainty out of me a few years ago when i finally had the guts to read up on it instead of believing what i was always told in churches growing up, in christian university, etc.

  • n.

    oh this is so horrible.

    i expected to stay single/virgin forever, too, because of mental differences (AND the “only marry within your extremely and un-diverse small religious group” problem also!)

    well, anyway, you get it. it’s JUST like what you were told.

    once we see the parallels, solidarity can begin.

    hugs, sister.

    PS: a LOT of people with physical disabilities DO get married and/or have sex, and everything. even have babies, depending on internal reproductive issues that might or might not be associated with their other physical disabilities. and of course depending on whether they want to.

    you may or may not find the right guy, because let’s face it there are a lot of jerks and shallow people out there, but there’s no reason not to consider it a possibility.

  • n.

    i think these comment boxes take html

  • n.

    well, she wants gays who still want to be christian to know that they CAN be both. cos a lot of them think they have to give up God or a part of their own self. and they think, well, religion IS a choice… also she wants to educate church people to stop thinking and teaching that being gay is wrong, and reconcile the church with the LGBT christians especially, but also with the LGBT folks in general.

    i’m not very missionarial, actually not at all. here’s why i am going to do it: for at least 15 years i was an adult and also believed it was wrong to be gay. if somebody told me they were gay, i thought i *had* to tell them what i thought God said about that.

    in the last several years i have gotten a different idea about all this. so it would be wrong to not be just as “Out” about my new understanding of things as i was about being homophobic.

    i want to do it to say i’m sorry to all my students that i hurt by sincerely saying the wrong thing to them, because i believed a wrong thing.

    it’s like, it’s kind of sad when you go to an immigrants’ rights protest, and all you see are immigrants. yes, they have the right to say “we are people and you should treat us like people”. And they should.

    but shouldn’t there also be native born citizens there? saying, “my ancestors were immigrants” or “i stand in solidarity with these people who are having their civil rights struggle now” … saying “these are my brothers and sister and they deserve the same rights as i do”…

    shouldn’t everybody care about everybody else’s rights to exist and to have a life?

  • n.

    yeah but she doesn’t agree with Exodus, or what they do, or what they claim to do.

    i thought the whole idea of even having him to debate there was part of convincing the ex-gay groups that what they do doesn’t work.


  • [quote]i think these comment boxes take html[/quote]

    thanks! testing testing testing testing

  • n.

    wait, what did you find?

  • one last attempt… I won’t clutter with any more if this doesn’t work

  • Gordon

    I am especially suspicious when authority tells me who it is and how I must follow it. I will read or listen and make my own decisions, thank you. I’ve read the bible cover-to-cover more than once. (OK, I admit that I skipped a little in Numbers and Judges. My bad.) If the bible is the unadulterated WORD OF GOD, then God help us. It’s not all bad. Some of it is actually beautiful and inspiring. Some of it is also violent and strident and just plain ridiculous. Come one…it IS! Can’t we just admit that and put the damn book in its proper place?

  • Gordon

    “Strifeful” isn’t a word. My Spellcheck says so, so it must be true. And yes, “Spellcheck” is a word. Again, Spellcheck says so.

  • Cat Rennolds

    Why would Christ tell us to be perfect if it were impossible?

  • Melody

    I agree with you 100%. I read the whole Bible, more or less cover to cover, for the first time when I was 23; and 5 years later, I’m doing the same thing. I struggled with some passages–specifically, the genocidal ones and the ones where God punishes someone for doing exactly what God told him to do. (I still believed homosexuality was wrong, so I had no issues there.) Now, five years on, I’m simply appalled at what I’m reading again and wonder, “How can anyone possibly believe these parts unquestionably happened?” I get so sick of people trying to shove their beliefs down the world’s collective throat, and trying to prove the Bible is unequivocally God’s final word. Not only is this arrogant and naive, it simply CAN’T BE DONE. If people like Carlotta (and some of my friends who are as uneducated and idealistic as she) want to personally believe that, they are free to do that. What they should not do is accuse those of us who use our brains of being disobedient and not truly following Jesus, using their favorite proof texts out of context.

  • Gordon

    The bible is a boat anchor around the neck of Christianity. Taken in context, it is historical, informative and most certainly has a place in our religion. But, assuming that GOD, all knowing, all powerful and everywhere present needs humans to take dictation about what he/she intends for us is actually offensive. Offensive to God! (Well…I would be offended if I was God.) Actually, if I was God and this messy book was my missive for my creation, I would be embarrassed.

    The first time I read the bible, I laughed my ass off at how silly and contradictory so much of it was. Then I took a bible history class at…wait for it…Oral Roberts University, and I began to understand what this thing was really all about.

  • Lymis

    Because they are continually being “born again?”

  • Lymis

    Clean living.

  • Christelle

    ah ha ha!!! i love me some Randy Roberts Potts and his husband 🙂 (that’s now who i think of when that University is mentioned) I took many bible classes at extreme conservative Bible colleges… and other colleges… the other colleges (along with blogs/books/etc.) helped me take the goggles off of my eyes by which I had previously been filtering my understanding of the Bible through… (my pastor said it, so it must be true… the evangelist said it, so it must be true. my sunday school teacher said it… ) funny thing, the more i learn, the more i want to learn and the bigger and more amazing our God is to me… contrary to some belief systems – learning more – popping the bubble around us – stepping out of our comfort zones – seeking answers – asking questions – God really does get much much bigger!!! and more amazing… full of grace… and then one day you realize… everything really just boils down to LOVE… (sorry if my all lower case letters annoy – bad habit…)

    The Bible:

    studying the culture, the myths, the original language, the ancient literature, the poetry, the laws created for an ancient civilization (just as any other ancient civilization had laws and an understanding of higher powers) is really quite fascinating… I recommend!

    and then, don’t stop there! study all ancient religions and then sit back and be amazed at how similar the core of each religion is…

    In the end, the wisest people know that there is ALWAYS so much more to know and that nobody truly knows it all…

  • Christelle

    Gordon- this was really to everyone, but the ORU comment gave me a chuckle 🙂

  • Cindy

    The irony of this comment (and others in response to Christine’s comment) on this particular post is quite profound. I never took you for such a black and white person DR. Why is ok to criticize Andrew for his “trying” when it is found to be less than helpful, but any criticism of Kathy seems to be viewed by you all as an attack against someone who is trying to help. In case you are unaware of what Christine was talking about (although I’m sure Kathy knows exactly what she was talking about but chose to ignore it to comment on her st8ght apology thing that wasn’t being questioned) , recently (with practically no notice to the membership) GCN recently invited Allan Chambers (of Exodus) to participate in a panel discussion (with no real opposition I might add) during a conference that up to this point has been considered a safe place for gay Christians many of whom are still hurting over the way they were traumatized by Exodus and other ex-gay groups. Obviously, this very poor decision on the part of Justin Lee (of GCN) caused a lot of hurt and loss of trust amongst a large segment of GCN’s membership. It amazes me that anybody could be surprised by such a result. It seems blatantly obvious to me. In any case, Kathy (as a straight woman never having experienced the damage of the ex-gay movement) chose to take up the cause of defending this decision on the basis that it may have helped nudge Allan’s heart in the right direction regardless of the hurt it caused many traumatized gay people. This is as clear an example as one can find for privleging the oppressor over the oppressed. Explain to me(as a gay person to whom such crap from the church is personal) why I should still trust Katy. I’m waiting. (Also still waiting for Kathy to address the actual issue that was brought up)

  • Cindy

    Sorry, working from iPhone, posted this wrong. Feel free to delete John. I’ve reported it as the reply it was intended to be.

  • Tip for the future, if you truly want to avoid strife a good place to start is by avoiding asking questions until you are actually ready to hear and possibly even think about the answers to those questions. Your questions were clearly intended only to provoke. So congratulations you achieved your goal. I’m sure your current version of Jesus would be proud of you. Do come back when your understand of God has matured to the point where you’re not afraid to ask real questions and even engage the answers, then we can have a real discussion and (heaven forbid) learn a thing or two from each other.

  • I meant re-posted not reported. Stupid spell check, I really should disable that thing…

  • Thanks, Jeannie. I have a lesbian friend with CP (engaged to a woman, not disabled) and I was close with two people, both Christians using wheelchairs (married to each other). The parallels in terms of the prejudice can be quite striking. Christianity often blames the “sick” and alienates them. Those who are disabled are often viewed as asexual by default – which is nothing but ignorance. The idea that you wouldn’t get married because you have CP is unconscionable. I am sorry that happened to you. There are people working to remedy these views, and moves to help people with disabilities overcome the challenges to expressing their sexuality. I hope for as much progress on that front as I do for LBGT issues.

  • No, of course allies are important, essential. It can just be a fine line on how how best to go about it helpfully, even with those who are entirely sincere.

    Protesting anti-gay protests like with “I aPoloGiZe” is great. Protesting *with*/alongside LBGT groups, joining *their* protests, generally speaking, and other events where appropriate, even better.

    Apologizing *to* is a different sort of thing. Not bad, per say. It wouldn’t be something I’d want or welcome, but I understand it is good for some. It does require a whole new level of sensitivity and understanding – it’s for those who really get the issues and what’s at stake. And Pride is not a protest – it has an in-your-face-element, Maybe less so now – but it is (also) a celebration, so the context is different. Maybe people want all that persecuting crap put aside for one day – not people there specifically reminding you and dredging it up during the parade. You know, context. But there’s a convenience factor that’s hard to resist – they know where all the gays will be…

    I appreciate your major change of heart – and particularly your desire to do something concrete as a result. Your want to be vocal, and that’s great. Virtual spaces like this blog are good for that, too. Just be certain, now and in the future, that whatever you do, you are doing it because you know for yourself that this is what the people you will minister to need and will welcome. Don’t do something just because it’s the only you can think to do, or it makes you feel better about the 15 years prior because you really want to apologize. Always keep the best interests of those you are ministery to at the centre of everything you do that you claim to be doing for them. Do that and you’ll be fine, whatever you get into.

  • Jeannie

    Thanks all. I did move on. I was in a relationship for 10 years. And I have two daughters now. Yes, my disability was largely viewed as being caused by sin. Most people gave me a little bit of grace becasue I was born this way (pun intentional) but they figured it was my parent’s sin. My not being healed was no doubt the result my own sin. WHATEVER.

  • Since he WAS the only (admittedly) ex-gay group there, he was NOT there to convince other ex-gay groups about anything. Alan Chambers is nearly as extreme a position as it gets, so I don’t know who you’d want him convincing anyways.

    And there was no debate at all. The “panel” was a easy one – full of Andrew Marin types that are only quasi-ex-ex-gays themselves. Not a tricky position for the Exodus leader.

    No, the rationale seems to be that it might have helped Alan. At least, that was Kathy’s justification for supporting it. And, apparently, that was worth seriously endangering some PTSD ex-gay victims in their “safe space”.

    What good does not agreeing with Exodus do if you give Alan Chambers the stage and a mic at an LBGT conference simply for his own benefit and who cares what happens to the gay people.

    With allies like these…

  • Lyn

    I’d say the giant ceremony and the legal document are both secondary to marriage– the covenant commitment people make to each other. Preventing someone from getting the legal document or having the grand celebration doesn’t prevent marriage. Giving someone a legal document and throwing a lavish party doesn’t suddenly cause a commitment to exist. Usually, the two footnotes exist in tandem with the core concept, but not always. I think it’s time we stopped phrasing our arguments as if the anti-gay bigots were actually succeeding in preventing same-sex marriages, and identified the truth of the matter– that they only succeed in forcing the state to unfairly categorise genuine same-sex marriages as illegitimate.

  • I see I mistook your last statement. Yes, convincing the Alan Chambers of the world they are wrong would be great. But he had the floor, the mic, and all the power. If backstage he had a few nice private moments with sufferers, fine – but he wasn’t being convinced of anything on the stage, fully in control, another opportunity to spread his message.

    The convincing can and should be done on the sidelines, or at events designed for that purpose. You don’t co-op a safe space conference and you DON’T expose people who are vulnerable to things that can harm them, you don’t disadvantage them for something that might somewhere slightly tweak their oppressor’s heart.

    When the rubber hit the road, when a choice had to be made on what was good for the victims and what was best for the bigots… well, the bigots won. And by the sounds of it, she’d do it herself tomorrow if she had the chance.

  • Amy, thank you. Thank you for doing what you did, and I’m sorry for the backlash you’re experiencing.

    I’m a gay twentysomething… and I think your church leaders and mine must be reading from the same script. I didn’t back down because, well, I’m gay. You didn’t back down because you believe it’s the right thing… I wanna give you a huge hug.

    Thank you!

  • n.

    But she says Exodus lies and the guy was invited as part of taking apart those lies and showing the organization what they have done and who they have hurt. I think that is true.

    I read about all that stuff when it happened… A lot of us did, maybe?

    WOW i didn’t know that GCN thinks the enforced celibacy is a reasonable option. I mean i’m sure it’s ok for some people, i was going to be celibate all my life if i hadn’t found my husband, but… It’s kind of extreme as a policy.

    But still… There’s nothing Pro-Exodus in the post you showed or in Kathy Baldock. didn’t have time to follow the other links, maybe after work…

  • n.

    Oh i see what you’re saying here. Would have to watch the whole video of the event to judge if that’s how it went down or not. Wasn’t able to at the time… I thought he was there to hear and be concvinced, more than to speak. I see where you wouldn’t want him to speak because it’s the same voice that GCN is supposed to be contradicting, that GLBTQ folks are already worn out with hearing.

  • Carlotta

    For clarification DR, I posted previously under my blog name Christocentric and Carlotta is my first name. No fakery here at all. I’d just thought by using my first name I’d make it a bit more personal not that it really matters to you all.

  • Carlotta

    Quite the contrary DR. John clearly said in his link posted in his reply to me above in a blog post titled “The best case for the bible not condemning homosexuality,” he posted: “…the Bible is not a contract, or a set of instructions, with each passage spelling out something clear and specific. It is not a rulebook for being Christian.”

    That statement completely contradicts the Pauline epistle of 2 Timothy 3:16 that says the bible is to be used for instruction. So who do I believe? John or the apostle Paul? I think you know whom I’ve chosen.

    And by the way, I know I said I wouldn’t be a part of this discussion any more, but I did want to make a couple of clarifications and that was defending the fact I wasn’t using fake names and to let you know what John posted about the bible not being a book of instruction.

  • DR (and anyone else who’s listening): “Carlotta” has for awhile now tried to make a little career for herself out of criticizing me: she trolls me, and then blogs about it on her blog. (I didn’t earlier realize this was her.) Don’t waste your time helping her by engaging her.

  • Gordon

    I was at ORU in 1977. I only lasted one semester. Oral Roberts and his dear wife Evelyn were frequently on campus and one time Rev. Roberts even joined me and some friends at our lunch table. I was at the chapel service when he announced his “City Of Hope” hospital. But, I just did NOT fit in with the whole culture there. Actually, back then at the tender age of 19, I didn’t fit in anywhere. I do appreciate some of the education I got there, however. A lot of the professors were extremely intelligent and, by current standards, quite progressive and liberal. (Gasp!) That’s why I got so much out of that bible history class. And, it wasn’t an elective. Every Sophomore had to take it. I would be willing to bet they don’t even teach it anymore.

  • Soulmentor

    ****“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17******

    Carlotta, you DO see that the signature on that is Timothy, not God. Timothy said it, not God. Was he inspired? Perhaps. By God….or his own sense of self-importance or perhaps youthful exuberance? Why should we believe what Timothy said (assuming indeed, that is was he who wrote that) and not what John Shore says today? Because Timothy is in the Bible and John is not?

    Well, scripture, (the Bible) does come to an end obviously. Does that mean that divine inspiration ended too? If so, when? With John’s final words in Revelation? Maybe after Constantine saw the cross in the sky and made Christianity the state religion? After the Crusades? The Spanish Inquisition? The Reformation? The writing of our Constitution? After my mother died and with her went her inspiration that I’m going to hell? Was he being heard during the civil war and later our black Civil Rights movement? Is he heard thru the changing attitudes toward women in America and the world? Is he SHOUTING warnings at us about climate change? Does he still speak to us, Carlotta?

    If so, then why not thru John Shore and why not on this current gay issue? If the Spirit can move us away from Biblical support for slavery and subjugation of women and stoning people for adultery (need I add more?), then why not the erroneously interpreted condemnation of homosexuality?

    When you can answer that with an ounce of intellectual integrity beyond mouthing the standard, stale, religious rhetorical talking points and spin and historical Biblical/cultural ignorance and outright self-serving lies, then, PERHAPS, we will have reason to care about what you say.

  • Kat

    All I see here is circular reasoning. You can’t use the Bible to verify its own authority. That’s like proclaiming myself the Queen of England, and all I have to back up that claim is that I said so, and I’m honest so you should believe me. 🙂

  • DR

    Her obsessive rants on her blog about you and those who post here are so creepy.

    Ok. No more attention to “Carlotta” (or whomever she happens to be this week).

  • DR

    You are fixated on this blog and use it to draw attention to your own. It’s pathetic and I’m embarrassed for you ( and of course you changed your name due to the trouncing you got last time where you were completely hostile and unhinged, save the sweetness and light dear, I have a long memory.)

    Alright. I had one more comment in me! Love you John!

  • DR

    Exactly, exactly, exactly. The *blink blink*, “I’m just asking an innocent question here!” bullshit is so old. I’ve lost all patience for that kind of manipulative behavior. People who actually *ask* a question are curious about the answer.

  • Any news from Andrew?

    I am sure he will not deign to talk to us common folk. He will reserve his words to a closed and concealed conversation with John, if he even has the balls to do that. He will come up with some other blog post, with no commenting available, to play the martyr and continue more of the same, all while pleading his case that he is “reaching out” and being persecuted for it. *eye roll*

    I am not sure why I expected anything more or less from a “christian”.


  • Frank

    You realize that Paul wrote that in a letter TO Timothy right?

    And these are the people we are suppose to beleive finally got the bible right? The biblical and theological illiteracy here is astounding. You pretty much can dismiss comfortably every theological position argued for here.

    Keep up the faith Carlotta, you “get it” and see the scoffers for who they really are. They are so transparent aren’t they?

  • Melody

    You are so transparent, Frank. You are the scoffer, the one who unabashedly ridicules people for actually making sense. You do that all the time on Tony’s blog. So don’t talk about scoffing, you filthy hypocrite. Why don’t you crawl back into your fundamentalist, gay-sex-obsessed closet. Yes, I think you are a closet case, because otherwise you wouldn’t be hung up on this issue more than any other.

  • Frank

    And you get what’s expected from scoffers. Thanks for proving it Melody. Well done as always. I couldn’t craft better responses to prove my points.

  • Just a reminder to not feed the Trolls. 🙂

  • I understand some were very hurt by it. Some PTSD sufferers had attacks. Given the mandate of the organization, the concept was quite irresponsible on its own and was executed even more poorly. I can see it being just a mistake – one to resign over, in my opinion, but a mistake none the less – until people are justifying it even after the fact, at which point there seems to be some serious issues with people’s judgement.

  • Yeah, I don’t think GCN is a productive part of the discussion. I find the whole side A/side B pardigm to be sickening, myself. I steer clear.

    No, not pro-Exodus, just not pro-protecting LBGT people first, either. What those justifying having Alan Chambers speak have said seems to ignore much of the (predicted/predictable) harm done. I’d at least read the comments at that canyonwalkerconnections link and a few other assessments of the event to get the full picture. What I provided just indicates that she defended it and why.

  • Thanks for waiting for all the evidence to be in before judging me on this, DR…

  • DR

    Christine, what more information do you need to provide? You have a point of view on bridge-building and on the invitation of Alan Chambers (I did know what you were referring to). It’s understandable. You (in this comment) have lumped Kathy in to some pretty crappy stuff here and those of us with a long history of knowing her and supporting her work know her to be something different than what you’ve articulated and took the Chambers scenario in the same light.

    You talk a tough game here on the forum. So do I. Both of us need to be on the receiving end of it from time to time as well. If you don’t agree, I don’t care. We’ll both live.

  • DR

    I knew exactly what the context was.

  • DR

    So for those in the GLBT community who read the disgusting comments here from people like “Frank” and suffer as a result, is it John’s fault for providing a format where they are challenged? If you’re going to throw Kathy under the bus, might as well throw John under the bus as well.

  • DR

    Your refusal to acknowledge Kathy’s intent has everything to do with you and not much to do with her.

  • DR

    Kathy Baldock has zero to do with the Pro-Exodus movement. She had a specific reason for what she did and if Christine finds value in somehow insinuating Kathy’s intent was suspect, she can certainly do that but those who are actually familiar with Kathy’s work know otherwise.

  • DR

    Again, John allows assholes on this forum to speak all of the time. It often provides an opportunity for the more educated, sane Christians to respond in kind and demonstrate that there are indeed, Christians who counter their evil effectively, subsequently dismantling it. Are you going to attack him like you’ve attacked Kathy?

  • n.

    Thank you for these ideas. It makes a lot of sense. Sorry i am so late reading this… The alerts aren’t working… I did subscribe to all replies but it didn’t work.

  • Michael Bussee

    In one Youtube video, he says “orientation is not a sin”, that the “behavior is the sin portion” and that’s the “baseline” that he is coming from.


  • A sheep in wolves clothing some of us have always known him to be…….

  • Al

    That’s just a roundabout way of saying that it’s OK to be gay as long as you don’t engage in sex with someone of the same sex. At least, that’ much is clear now and we know that Andrew Marin is in the “love the sinner, hate the sin crowd’.

  • It’s good to hear from you, Michael. Thanks for this link.

  • Joyce

    Am I the only one who has never heard of this guy?

  • SuzySnowflake

    I was just thinking the same thing; who is this guy and who is his audience?

  • Angela

    Why should I, as a lesbian, build a bridge with my oppressors? The LGBT community NEEDS support; bigoted white males do not.

  • Byron

    I guess I have a hard time coming to this and really being able to take either side seriously. You yourself have on your site this: “I don’t believe, for instance, that homosexuality is in and of itself an offense against God.”

    Now, I don’t know anything else about you, but all the same, you seem to in this case be using language that is similarly “fuzzy.” I’d expect that your “about” section would be a little clearer about such issues if you really do feel one way or the other.

    So how about YOU make a clear and concise and unfuzzy statement, (Which some would argue “Being gay isn’t a sin” is, as you aren’t embracing but rather stating that they are not to be explicitly shunned) or show me where I can see you doing so, and I’d certainly love to take this article from a different light.

    I’m in no way claiming to know much of anything about you or your stance, but I see this as an opportunity to offer you a little insight into how people outside of your “circle” might see you. I’m sure that the statement I quoted from your site is an exception and that you generally are more than happy to state your position, but as someone who has not had the time to find out what you’re all about, it’s what I have to go on at the moment.

  • DR

    I won’t speak for John but I suspect he doesn’t care too much about what anyone thinks about him, not just those who are “outside his circle”. What is troublesome about this, Byron, is that you have a huge amount of content in which to make a more informed decision about what John’s belief system is in depth, where he’s explained things (over and over again) with a rather laserlike quality. . Yet it seems like you’re asking him to explain that to you so you don’t have to go do a little digging and find that out for yourself. That – with all due respect – seems like a lazy way of discovering who someone is.

  • Jill

    Exactly Angela, which is why allies like me need to be more vocal, more obstinant, more focused, more invested in fighting this war until it is over. That’s why this place is so special. It’s combat training with a soft touch. 🙂

  • Josh Magda

    This just posted to Marin’s blog here.

    Dear Andrew:

    Because you have repeatedly deleted comments and banned accounts belonging to me that are critical of your organization, including the prayer “The True Gamble” which has proven meaningful to at least one of your readers, I will continue to respond to your cowardice with the following good-faith challenges to your propaganda machine.

    1) I have disseminated copies of the original deleted posts to a good many of my fellows, and they will post and repost them as they see fit, along with any new material that I write and send them, as I see fit. Rest assured, we have a lot of extra time on our hands, and we will continue until one of the following events occurs: a) you either stop deleting comments and banning accounts critical of your organization at the drop of a hat, or b) you are forced to close down all public comments, just in order to be rid of us. The multiple inundation strategy and other (legal) techniques will be employed to ensure that I and my organization are a continuing critical presence at every online venue your commentary appears.

    2) When I have the time, I will prepare a extensive half-hour video critique of the Marin foundation and its worldview, post it on Youtube and other online video hosts, and disseminate it to every gay Christian leader I can think of that is working for full and unequivocal inclusion of LGBT people in the Church Universal, in all of our sacred fullness.

    This is not about you, and it is not about me. It is about the future of the Church, and more importantly, it is about the Souls of the LGBT people you keep in a half-way house of shame and fear, in order that you and your followers can maintain the psychological integrity of petty spiritual anthropologies that are already imploding as we speak, and are doomed to total collapse in the very near future.

    Christ’s Peace, or WHOLENESS.

    (Josh Magda)
    c/o St. Hildegard’s of the Blue Ridge..

  • Eric Weiss

    I think Rob Bell might skirt the “It’s no sin to be gay” affirmation, too, only going as far as affirming marriage equality. At least that’s what I got from his video interview a year (?) or so ago,